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The Bear Wife – Catherine George

The bear wife took the cub to mommy and me yoga. She didn’t look much like a bear without her fur, but somehow the other mothers seemed to sense it; when she came in carrying the cub they shifted away, drifting on their yoga mats closer to the windows, to each other. She was left alone in the middle like a stone dropped into a lake, each woman a wave rippling outward. In tree pose she was a lightning-struck pine at the center of a clearing.

It must be something primal, she thought, lifting the cub up in a sun salutation. A smell, maybe, or a musk that hadn’t gone away when the fur came off (worried now, she sniffed at her armpit as she twisted into warrior pose, but she smelled nothing but the plastic roses of her deodorant). Anyway, she didn’t blame them for staying away. The bear was still in there, just below the skin; if any of them threatened the cub she’d tear the heart from their chest.

As the mothers eased into downward dog — a ring of A-frame cabins, each sheltering a baby — the weathered blonde yoga teacher approached her mat and placed a gentle hand on the bear wife’s back, correcting her posture. “Like this,” she said. “Keep your back flat.” The hand pulled away, a bird taking flight, then settled again, on the hunch of her neck. “Focus on pulling the shoulder blades together behind you.”

The bear wife didn’t bother to tell her the hunch would never go away. No amount of focusing on her shoulder blades would remove the grizzly in her.

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The Bear Wife – Catherine George
The bear wife took the cub to mommy and me yoga. She didn’t look much like a bear without her fur, but somehow the other mothers seemed to sense it; when she came in carrying the cub they shifted away, drifting on their yoga mats closer to the windows, to each other. She was left alone in the middle like a stone dropped into a lake, each woman a wave rippling outward. In tree pose she …
Read it "The Bear Wife – Catherine George"
The Soul Farmer’s Daughters – Kyle Kirrin
Thirteen souls flit about in mason jars on the mantle above my workbench. They’re bright—luminescent, even—but they’re not potent enough for the Duke. I glance at the ghostly light flickering within Vella’s abdomen, then pull another stool up next to mine. “Come, sit. I’ve got a surprise for you.” She joins me. “But isn’t—” “He’s still a little ways out. We’ve got time.” Seventeen minutes to be exact, I think, but never say. “Close your …
Read it "The Soul Farmer’s Daughters – Kyle Kirrin"
The Lightkeeper’s Wife – Amelia Dee Mueller
The first time Elsie Frasier tried to murder her husband, the other women of Auskerry called it a pretty meager attempt. Some insisted it might even have been an accident. He had fallen down the last flight of stairs in the couple’s lighthouse and only fractured the smaller bone in his arm. The next time, when he fell from his ladder while painting the kitchen cupboards, was nearly two years later, much too long when …
Read it "The Lightkeeper’s Wife – Amelia Dee Mueller"
Snapped Dry, Scraped Clean – Setsu Uzumé
Once the corpse is ready to return to the desert, it falls to me to gather her memories. The house where they fester has good bones, but its guts are in turmoil. A stain that looks like bile has seeped through the floor. That means many hours taking up the boards and hauling them to the firehouse. Hours of exposure. Any strong back can haul for the death carts, but carters can’t do their work …
Read it "Snapped Dry, Scraped Clean – Setsu Uzumé"

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About Carol Wellart

The expedition artist is a term for someone who is creatively working while traveling and exploring nature. Carol Wellart is a Czech illustrator, constantly on the road with her partner and photographer Paul Schlemmer. She’s inspired by everyday outside stuff. The mountain character is an often-repeated theme in her art, and she and Paul are both searching for new impulses in this enviroment. Exploring the world wilderness, studying animals and surviving in the Earth’s oldest reliefs brings Carol’s work to life.

carolwellart.com


Carol Wellart‘s image “Heartwood” is the cover art for our May 2017 stories.Metaphorosis

A question for Beth Goder

Q: If you could talk to novice-writer self, what bit of advice would you give?

A: Since I’m fairly new to writing, I’m not convinced that I’m out of the novice stage yet, but if I could go back in time and give myself one piece of advice, I would tell myself not to be afraid of failing. Much of learning to write, I’ve found, is doing things badly until I figure out how to do them better. In my office, I have a bulletin board filled with scraps of paper, a French postcard of citrus fruits, and my writing bingo card. There’s a quote from Richard Bausch up there: “You can’t ruin a piece of writing. You can only make it necessary to go back and try again.”

I’d also tell myself to go read some Anthony Trollope, because he is hilarious and excellent at that whole omniscient narrator thing. Read widely, young writer-self. Also, don’t be too worried about adverbs.


Beth Goder’s story “To the Eggplant Cannon” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 21 April 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

About Steve Rodgers

Steve Rodgers works in security and cryptography, and has been reading since he was old enough to carry a stack of hard-bound science fiction books out of the library. He and his wife travel when possible (physically or mentally), though their mail is delivered to San Diego. Writings and musings can be found at www.steverodgersauthor.com.


Steve Rodgers’s story “Canoes of Hava’iki” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 28 April 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

Scraps – Juliet Kemp

The bell jingled, and Emmeline looked, frowning, at the door through to the front of the shop. She was in the middle of a fitting, and one did not expect interruptions if one was being fitted for charmwear at Emmeline’s. When a moment passed and Joe, her apprentice, did not appear around the corner, she smiled at Mme Gantiel. “My apologies, Madame. Would you excuse me for just a moment?” At least it was cheerful …

A question for Ian Rennie

Q: Have you ever wondered whether ideas are thought waves directed at you by an AI supercomputer located in the distant future?

A: Honestly it would be a relief if they were.  It might mean that I couldn’t take credit for any of my good ideas, but it would also mean I couldn’t take all of the blame for my bad ones.  I’ve always liked the Terry Pratchett idea of idea particles whizzing through space looking for receptors in people’s brains, meaning we’re surrounded by creativity all the time.  In truth, though, a great idea is only half the battle.  The best idea in the world is nothing more than an idea unless you do something with it.


Ian Rennie’s story “Angels at the Border” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 14 April 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.