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L’Appel du Vide – Rajiv Moté

On Friday morning, the ambient heaviness in his boss’s tiny office threatened to bend Isaac double, and his ears ached from the pressure in the air. The dread hadn’t started with his boss’s unexpected meeting request, but coalesced around it, wrapping the 15-minute block on his calendar in layers of doubt and worry until it shone like a fat, anxious pearl. It had been gathering over weeks. Office doors that usually stayed open were shut. Hallways and corners sheltered low, furtive conversations; Isaac felt like he was interrupting conspiracies every time he walked to the restroom. The very air resisted movement, its weight dragging down shoulders and gazes. It felt like the air before a storm cracks open the sky.

His boss, from across the desk, began by telling him what Isaac already knew.

“As you know…”

A disappointing Q2. A gloomy forecast for Q3. Streamlining. Tightening belts. Pivoting. Reorganizing. Isaac waited as each term in the well-rehearsed speech pulled him in, spiraling closer to the actual point.

“We have to let you go.”

There. The dice showed their pips. The curtain pulled back. With the word “go,” Isaac was unmoored. First, figuratively, and then, a heartbeat later, literally. His boss was still talking while Isaac floated inches above his seat. He panicked for a moment, losing the leverage that came with gravity. Putting his feet back on the floor only pushed him up higher, until he was floating in the middle of the room. He began to tilt, and his arms and legs flailed for some kind of purchase. His boss’s eyes held polite sympathy. He asked if Isaac had any questions. Isaac shook his head. In his flailing, he found he could change his orientation and even propel himself by pushing against the thickened air.Keep reading“L’Appel du Vide – Rajiv Moté”

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L’Appel du Vide – Rajiv Moté
On Friday morning, the ambient heaviness in his boss’s tiny office threatened to bend Isaac double, and his ears ached from the pressure in the air. The dread hadn’t started with his boss’s unexpected meeting request, but coalesced around it, wrapping the 15-minute block on his calendar in layers of doubt and worry until it shone like a fat, anxious pearl. It had been gathering over weeks. Office doors that usually stayed open were shut. …
Read it "L’Appel du Vide – Rajiv Moté"
The Noise Inside – Vaya Pseftaki
Sheyen swallows hard and his ears pop. The Noise stops. How long did it last this time? He glances at the water-clock fixed on the wall. Longer than before. It first came a month ago, on his fourteenth birthday, along with the hair. That day, he woke up to a humming, drenched in sweat and with the smooth skin of his head itching. And no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t pinpoint where the …
Read it "The Noise Inside – Vaya Pseftaki"
Absurd of a Feather – Amman Sabet
I’m getting a note from my doctor that will keep me out of the pool for gym. It’s not that I can’t swim. Last year I came in third place for breast stroke. This is different. I’m uncomfortable with taking my shirt off now, and I’d rather spend the period studying in the library while the other kids do laps and cannonball into the deep end. “Terrence,” my doctor tells me in his examining room. …
Read it "Absurd of a Feather – Amman Sabet"
Pleasing the Giants – Carolyn Lenz
Deiderick raced down the cobblestone street, the hollow sound of his footsteps barely audible over the singing around him. It wouldn’t take long for his mother and father to notice him missing. He was supposed to be arranging tulips now, in full view of the giants, just as their boat passed. But they wouldn’t ask where he was. They wouldn’t show any anger or disappointment in him. Their smiles wouldn’t falter, not when the giants …
Read it "Pleasing the Giants – Carolyn Lenz"

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About Jeremy Packert Burke

Jeremy Packert Burke is from Virginia. His fiction and music writing crops up occasionally online. He, too, read too many Stephen King books at too young an age, and will likely never recover.


Jeremy Packert Burke’s story “So, You’re In an Alternate Universe” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 26 August 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

Duet for Unaccompanied Cello – Chanel Earl

My favorite place to practice the cello will always be the observatory. My friend Jamie, an astronomer, first let me in one day when the sun was up and visibility was nil. I practiced for hours under its high dome, right next to the telescope. The echo of music in the observatory was singular: less vibrant than a racquetball court, more round than a stadium stairwell, a fuller sound than I have found in any …

It came from Henry Szabranski

Henry Szabranski’s story “In the Belly of the Angel” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 29 January 2016. I’m a visual thinker. The inspiration for “In the Belly of the Angel” came from a single, sudden, unbidden image: of a large orangutan-like ape, squatting atop a pile of human bones, its wispy hair stirred by a strong breeze as it contemplated an opening in the floor of a vast, bird-filled chamber floating far above the …

Another question for Mark Rookyard

Q: What’s your writing schedule?

A: My writing schedule is a work in progress at the moment. I set myself the target of writing at least 1,000 words a day when I’m working on a story. To start with, that meant hurriedly writing a few words here and a few words there throughout the day before finishing off whatever words I had left to write when the family went to bed on a night. With this story, I set the alarm early (about 5 in the morning) and tried to get the words done before I went to work. That seemed to work pretty well, so I might stick with that. Finding the time is always a struggle though, and can’t see that changing any time soon!


Mark Rookyard’s story “Out Where the Rivenbuds Grow” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 12 August 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

About Santiago Belluco

Santiago is a neuroscientist born and raised in Brazil before moving to America to get the usual degrees needed to become a real scientist (namely a funded one). He now lives and works in Switzerland, where he writes speculative fiction and studies the neurocircuitry of vision.


Santiago Belluco’s story “The Bonesetter” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 19 August 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.