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With Eyes Half Open – Frances Pauli

April 2019

The circus smelled of magic, of popcorn, dung, and cotton candy. Miranda squinted as she entered, just like the book suggested. She followed the crowd through the gate, then slipped between the wagons, searching for something only half open eyes could see.

Magic dwells in the halfway places, in the between times and the long shadows that cannot be perceived with the eyes wide.

She’d borrowed the book without asking, the one with gold designs on the cover and a layer of dust marred only by her aunt’s knobby fingerprints. Miranda had read the bits of it that she could understand, cradling the tome underneath the covers in the late hours while her aunt slept.

That was how she knew the jugglers were only ordinary jugglers. It was how she knew the strong man and his dumbbells were fake. Miranda squinted at them all and found only disappointment.

Until she saw the bear.

He lay against the back of his cage, striped with the shadows of iron bars and wearing a pill box hat on his wide head. When Miranda squinted at the bear, his edges shifted. The dense, cinnamon fur melted and smoothed. Inside the bear, a man hid. Inside the cage, he stared at her with soft, brown eyes.

Miranda stepped closer, whispered. “I think you’re more than just a bear.”

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With Eyes Half Open – Frances Pauli
The circus smelled of magic, of popcorn, dung, and cotton candy. Miranda squinted as she entered, just like the book suggested. She followed the crowd through the gate, then slipped between the wagons, searching for something only half open eyes could see. Magic dwells in the halfway places, in the between times and the long shadows that cannot be perceived with the eyes wide. She’d borrowed the book without asking, the one with gold designs …
Read it "With Eyes Half Open – Frances Pauli"
Forever and a Life – Daniel Roy
Transcripts of Mayfly interviews by Dr. Leanne Jansen. Sarah al-Awqati (childhood friend): “Fuck forever.” Yup, I was right in front of the stage when she first said that. I can say “she,” right? Interviewer: Sure, if you like. Al-Awqati: She was smoking a cig on stage when she said it. Ever seen those? Little paper sticks that smelled like burnt grass. Anyway: [Al-Awqati inhales an imaginary cig, then exhales invisible smoke as she speaks.] “Fuck …
Read it "Forever and a Life – Daniel Roy"
A Yellow Landscape – Sarah McGill
I dream of vast landscapes. The distance bends like cotton on a washing line or a rabbit vanishing down a hole. In my dream, women come, carrying brutally tined forks. Their hands crook around their bodies and somehow they are monstrous and too big. I walk, and I think I’m looking for a better landscape. Or only another landscape. This place is too wide and I pool borderless across it. A woman draws her fork …
Read it "A Yellow Landscape – Sarah McGill"
The Color of My Home is Red Like an Apple – Evan Marcroft
The color of my home is red like an apple. That is what God told the father of all my fathers, who told all their daughters, who told me. I do not know what an apple is, only that it is sweet and red like my home. My name is Anan. I have lived as long as nine suns, and I have always served God. When I was a baby, my father was chosen to …
Read it "The Color of My Home is Red Like an Apple – Evan Marcroft"

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Forever and a Life – Daniel Roy

Transcripts of Mayfly interviews by Dr. Leanne Jansen. Sarah al-Awqati (childhood friend): “Fuck forever.” Yup, I was right in front of the stage when she first said that. I can say “she,” right? Interviewer: Sure, if you like. Al-Awqati: She was smoking a cig on stage when she said it. Ever seen those? Little paper sticks that smelled like burnt grass. Anyway: [Al-Awqati inhales an imaginary cig, then exhales invisible smoke as she speaks.] “Fuck …

It came from Andrew M LeBlanc

Andrew M LeBlanc’s story “Reproduction in a Closed Loop” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 5 October 2018. Time-loop stories are typically finite. In Groundhog Day and Edge of Tomorrow, the protagonist gets to exit the time-loop once they’ve achieved their goal (whether that goal is military victory or love). But what if the protagonist’s goal was impossible? What if they could never leave the time-loop? I was driven to ask this question by “The …

A question for Frances Pauli

Q: If someone wanted to make an animated series out of your work, based on the title or recurring themes, what would it look like?

A: An animated series based on my work would look a great deal like studio Ghibli meets Disney’s Zootopia . I populate my worlds with talking animals, fairy tale themes, and a touch of humor. Miranda from “With Eyes Half Open”, would certainly love to be a Ghibli girl.


Frances Pauli’s story “With Eyes Half Open
in Metaphorosis Friday, 19 April 2019.
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About Luke Murphy

Luke Murphy was born in West Berlin, grew up in Ireland, and now lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter. He is a freelance animator and writer, with his TV work appearing on places like the Discovery Channel and Nickelodeon.

www.lukemurphy.com


Luke Murphy’s story “A Sacrifice for the Queen
in Metaphorosis Friday, 26 April 2019.
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A Yellow Landscape – Sarah McGill

I dream of vast landscapes. The distance bends like cotton on a washing line or a rabbit vanishing down a hole. In my dream, women come, carrying brutally tined forks. Their hands crook around their bodies and somehow they are monstrous and too big. I walk, and I think I’m looking for a better landscape. Or only another landscape. This place is too wide and I pool borderless across it. A woman draws her fork …

It came from Kai Hudson

Kai Hudson’s story “Combustion” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 28 September 2018. Though it certainly doesn’t read like one, “Combustion” is a pretty political piece for me. I kept seeing these terrible news stories about people mistreating other people (police shooting unarmed black men, countries turning away Syrian refugees, the violence of ISIS, etc.), yet political apathy and indifference seemed to be at an all-time high. My social media was full of posts and …