Our latest story
Her family hadn’t always been this calm. When the first finger, a knuckle’s-worth of her left pinky, had fallen plumply into her dinner salad, there had been an enormous commotion. Her young daughters screamed and bolted into the back yard, and hours later had to be coaxed back inside. Jack fumbled with the phone in the kitchen, trying to maintain an even voice while holding back tears. The family border collie, Bernard, stationed himself next to Patricia, barking at the table and the fallen digit. All the while, Patricia sat staring at her dinner and her finger, unable to move, as though crying or sealing herself in the bathroom would invite some new calamity, allow new seams to loosen and more body parts to shake free.
This finger disassembled like the others, severing just below the nailbed. June, the elder daughter, hadn’t noticed anything, but Leila was looking and let out a calm, plaintive sigh, like the sound of a pillow being fluffed. Whatever form her exclamation had wanted to take, Leila snuffed it and formed it into something tamer. The girls don’t want to embarrass me, Patricia thought. She dreaded that they were already burying their own feelings on her behalf.
She had just painted her nails in aquamarine, and the tiny nub lay lifeless on the hardwood like a dead scarab. There was no blood and no wound, just a smooth, curved tip. Like it hadn’t come from Patricia at all.
The Yarnball Woman – Michael Milne
Graven Image – B. Morris Allen
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost – Douglas Anstruther
All the Colors I Cannot See – L’Erin Ogle
Taylor Hornig is a speculative fiction writer based in New Hampshire. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing video games, and hanging out with her very fuzzy dogs.
Q: What is your favourite part of writing?
A: My favorite part of writing is polishing. I do love the initial fervor of the onset of idea–but I struggle (usually) with working out the whole story. That’s where the hard labor comes in. But once I have my “skeleton draft,” as I call it, I love to see how the story fleshes itself out, often in ways I never dreamed. And I love to edit, but especially the part beyond mere copy editing, which is where the metaphors turn more apt, or interesting names are conjured up, etc. Then the story ceases to be just a skeleton, even a fleshed out one, and gains a personality, maybe even a soul.
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Simon Kewin is the author of over 100 published short and flash stories as well as several novels. He writes fantasy, science fiction, and some stories that can’t make their minds up. He lives in England with his wife and their daughters.
Simon Kewin’s story “The Stars are Tiny Lights on a Perfect Black Dome” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 16 December 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.