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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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A question for Daniel Roy

Q: What’s better: writing or having written?

A: People love to rave about the blissful process of writing, but let me tell you… Having written beats writing, no contest.

Writing is the messy act of giving birth: I bare my guts on the computer screen, and in the thick of this bloody, miraculous, godawful process, there is no way to know if either I or my creation will ever emerge whole. The hope keeps me going: that one day, I will have written, and that this small, bloody corner of my soul will know a modicum of peace before the renewed siren call of writing rises once more.

But having written, ah, now there’s the blissful part. My words are finally free to reach others and germinate their own imaginations. Perhaps these people will hate it, but never as much as I did writing and revising it; or perhaps they will fall in love with my story, but never as fiercely nor as desperately as I.

There’s a supreme vitality to writing, and there is no having written without the writing part. But the reward of writing, for me, is found in having written, in watching my creation go forth into the world, having left the bruised mess of my mind behind for greener pastures.


Daniel Roy’s story “Forever and a Life
in Metaphorosis Friday, 12 April 2019.
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About Frances Pauli

Frances Pauli originally studied visual arts. She still wanders from time to time between the canvas and the blank page, but for the most part has settled herself down to tell stories. A lifetime resident of Washington State, she currently resides in the central desert with her family and a host of unusual pets. Her work is almost always in one of the speculative fiction genres and more often than not features animal characters.

francespauli.com, @mothindarkness


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

It came from E.A. Brenner

E.A. Brenner’s story “Familiar in Her Angles” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 21 September 2018. In the summer of 2015, I read Angel Carter’s The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories for the first time, and the first draft of “Familiar in Her Angles” popped out. I struggle to write short stories, so I was surprised how quickly that first draft came, amazed I managed to get from start to finish in only a few …

A question for Sarah McGill

Q: Do you live near where you were born? Have you traveled much?

A: I generally live far away from the Twin Cities where I was born – the furthest away was New Zealand. Most recently, over the summer I lived in northern Minnesota, which was closer to Canada than really anything else. I do travel quite a lot. The whole family picked up and moved to New Zealand for six months when I was a sophomore in high school. At the time High School Musical was very popular and I spent a lot of time explaining that that wasn’t really an accurate representation of American high school or America in general. I also decided I didn’t like wearing a uniform, even if it was a kilt. But they do have golden kiwis, which are better than regular kiwis and one day I’ll go back, if only to eat golden kiwis again.


Sarah McGill’s story “A Yellow Landscape
in Metaphorosis Friday, 5 April 2019.
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About Daniel Roy

Daniel Roy is a Canadian video game narrative writer, slow traveler, and backpack foodie. Originally from Montreal, he has also lived in China, Thailand, India, and South Korea. He is currently based in Sofia, Bulgaria.

www.onebluepixel.net, @1bluepixel


Daniel Roy’s story “Forever and a Life
in Metaphorosis Friday, 12 April 2019.
Subscribe now for e-mail updates!