Tower of Mud and Straw I – Yaroslav Barsukov

PROLOGUE Shea Ashcroft stepped from a carriage into the low-lit cul-de-sac as a mongrel lifted its door knocker of a head from a garbage pile. Dogs. They’d taken over the capital a week before. The wind dragged garlands of crushed glass and everyday commodities across the pavement, and the dogs picked out anything they could chew: meat from the decimated butcher’s shops, greens, someone’s shoes.

Another question for Yaroslav Barsukov

Q: What is your favourite part of writing?

A: Dreaming. Definitely dreaming. Before putting down the first sentence, I see certain scenes in my head, hear music—that’s when the genesis happens. Those pictures stay with me throughout the process, I keep seeing them, and the prospect of writing them motivates me when temptation and sleep deprivation come knocking. Getting there across words and pages may sometimes be a chore, but oh boy is the destination worth it.


Yaroslav Barsukov’s story “Tower of Mud and Straw I: The Duchy
in Metaphorosis Friday, 25 September 2020.
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October 2020

Metaphorosis

Table of Contents

  • Good Boy — M. Douglas White
  • Cactus and Lizard — Hannah Costelle
  • Lingua Franca — Amelia Fisher
  • Holding — John Adams
  • Tower of Mud and Straw II: The Adversary — Yaroslav Barsukov

Cover art by Caleb Costelle.

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More about Yaroslav Barsukov

After leaving his ball and chain at the workplace, Yaroslav Barsukov goes on to write stories that deal with things he himself, thankfully, doesn’t have to deal with. He’s a software engineer and a connoisseur of strong alcoholic beverages—but also, surprisingly, a member of SFWA and Codex (how did that happen?). At some point in his life, he’s left one former empire only to settle in another.

www.barsukov.com, @YBarsukov


Yaroslav Barsukov’s story “Tower of Mud and Straw I: The Duchy
in Metaphorosis Friday, 25 September 2020.
Subscribe now for e-mail updates!

September 2020

Metaphorosis

Table of Contents

  • Fetch — B. Morris Allen
  • Where the Old Neighbors Go — Thomas Ha
  • Pages Missing From the Diary of Samuel Pepys, Esq. — David Berger
  • Tower of Mud and Straw I: The Duchy — Yaroslav Barsukov

Cover art by Gabriel Rosswell.

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Memory is a Rumor – Yaroslav Barsukov

In the heat, even paper seemed to sweat. Dr. Startsev’s fingers left wet stains on the pages of the open notebook, on a number: thirty. Thirty minutes to try and deter the people about to enter his office from doing the irreversible. He always hoped for thirty; but when the front door in the lobby opened and steps drummed on the laminated floorboards, a resolute ostinato, he corrected himself: at most, twenty. Then a male …