The heart I cut from the tallest oak of the forest. It has lived and brought life for over a hundred years, and it will surely bring much more.
Without it, the forest withers and dies.
The lungs I steal from a Siren. Strong and healthy, able to breathe underwater and on land, never will they struggle to catch a breath or gasp for air.
The Siren tries to curse me, but without air she has no words.
The blood needs to be special, magical. I hunt and trap a Unicorn. I bleed it dry, collecting every drop, and ask for forgiveness.
The Unicorn's dead eyes blink, a guttural rasp escapes its throat. "What are you waiting for? Drink my blood, take my horn. Nothing else can save you now."
"It's not for me." My shoulders slump and I turn away from the once magnificent being. I leave the horn.
You told me I would need these three things and a wish to bind them.
We were both supposed to protect her, take care of her.
Now, we must pay the price to make it right again. You turn around so that I may pluck the wings from your back.
What better way to gain a wish than through fairy dust made from a fairy's wings.
My sins are taking their toll. I don’t have much time.
I crumble the wings upon the small body before me. Upon the oak heart, the Siren lungs, and the Unicorn blood.
I'm fading, but my daughter will live again. A long and healthy life.
You failed as her fairy godmother but that is behind us now.
Please, watch over her when I’m gone.
Kai Delmas loves creating worlds and magic systems and is a slush reader for Apex Magazine. He is a winner of the monthly Apex Microfiction Contest, his fiction is forthcoming in Zooscape, and can be found in Martian, Etherea, Tree And Stone, Wyldblood, and several Shacklebound anthologies. If you like his work you can support him at www.patreon.com/kaidelmas and find him on Twitter @KaiDelmas
This story was originally published by Black Hare Press via their Patreon.
Even now, with her bones thinning more every day and her memories leaking out the base of her skull, Lucille’s hands dance. She’s playing along with the music she hears, music that gifted her a career as a virtuoso violinist decades ago when women hardly ever did such things. It’s louder out here in the oak woodland behind her home.
Her hands falter on her imagined Stradivarius as she forgets again. How did she get outside? She doesn’t remember coming outside. Her cotton nightgown is too thin for the night air, and her diaper feels heavy and wet against her skin. Why is she wearing a diaper? And why do her joints ache? She’s a young woman in her early twenties.
She looks at her fingers and is surprised by the crepe-paper skin, the joints thick with arthritis, and the nails yellowed and too long. Panic begins to well up in her. Her heart beatbeat beatbeats in her chest, like her aortic valve might rupture at any moment and bleed out into her chest.
What has happened to her body? Has she been cursed by the faeries her mother used to warn her about? She used to dream about meeting real faeries, wondering what magical gifts they might give her. Is that why she’s out in the woods? Is she here to beg for a gift? For mercy?
The music grows louder, a haunting and driving dance. Almost like a Chopin waltz but with a jazz undercurrent, reminiscent of Gershwin or Cole Porter. She lifts her hands to play along on a violin that isn’t there, the way she always does when one of these compositions pop into her head. She’ll play along to develop muscle memory and write it down when she gets home, and then she’ll release a new vinyl, and it’ll sell spectacularly, and won’t she be adored? She walks as she plays, following the melody deeper into the trees, crushing common violets and bloodroot underfoot.
She trips on her nightgown, forgetting the music for a moment. She looks around herself, confused and cold. How did she get outside? She doesn’t remember coming outside. The music gets louder. She must remember this composition! She lifts her hands and plays. She follows the music deep into the woodlands.
Sharp branches catch her papyrus skin as she walks, and it tears into delicate tatters. Her blood flows too thinly from these wounds, thanks to the aspirin she takes to reduce the stress on her heart. When she stumbles, her fragile veins break, and bruises bloom across her silken flesh. She plays on. It sounds like there are lyrics.
Strange lyrics, these. Lyrics lacking verse or chorus, lyrics she forgets as soon as she hears them. They are like talking with an old friend. She hardly even pays attention. She already knows what they’re going to say.
An eye for an eye
A tooth for a tooth
A gift for a gift
A noose for a noose
A deal for a dream
A world for a wife
A dance for a song
An end for a life
The moonlight grows stronger. Lucille’s hands grow more certain. Her fingers dance in time with the bodhran drum beat, the goat hide’s oily surface thrumming a driving pulse. She approaches the clearing she’s been returning to all along but can’t quite seem to remember visiting before, and there’s nothing inside other than clover and deep green grass and a ring of tawny mushrooms on the outskirts.
She steps over the mushroom border, and she can see them.
The faeries are tall and sinewy as they dance. They fly, though they don’t have wings. Rather, as their feet strike the soil in time with the bodhran, they lift and float in concentric circles, clasping hands with one another and weaving under and over and in between and outside arms. A handsome fae with knifelike cheekbones, jawbones, and collarbones spins off to invite Lucille to the dance.
She steps backwards, finding an invisible, impenetrable wall has appeared just behind the mushroom ring. The handsome fae laughs. “Come now, human,” they chide with a voice that rings like bluebells, “You made your deal, a dance for a song. The time is nigh.”
“No,” she refuses, and scrabbles at the wall behind her back with her feeble fingernails. They would dance her until she died; that’s what her mother always said.
“No?” the handsome fae stares at her for a moment. Their pupils slowly expand until the entirety of their eyeballs are a yawning abyss. They pull back their lips, flashing mandible teeth that part in six directions to reveal a straw-like maw designed to suck life from mortals.
“I don’t remember making any deal,” she cries out in desperation.
“You don’t remember?” the fae’s pupils shrink back to normal size, and the mandibles and lips close, and they are handsome again. “Listen. Do you remember the song?”
She listens. The music is a waltz, ethereal and rich. She raises her hands to mime playing along on her violin, so she’ll remember it later. How did she get outside?
The handsome fae snaps their fingers, and a violin made of frost and gold leaf materializes in her grip. She plays perfectly, a virtuoso, as was the deal. She dances as she plays, enjoying the rhythm and the company of the other dancers. Even once she grows weary, she dances. Even once her brittle bones snap (first the tibia, then the patella, then the femur, and up, and up), she dances. It’s only when her heart beatbeat beatbeat beatbeats so hard that it bursts, a great wine stain bruise leaking across her chest, that she falls. The faeries close in with clicking mandible mouths to suck the spirit from her corpse.
When they rise, her body has already decomposed. The mushroom ring has spread a little further.
Grace Daly (she/her) is an author with multiple invisible chronic illnesses. In her writing, she often explores the experience of living with disability through horror, romance, and low fantasy. Her work can be found in anthologies by Ghost Orchid Press and Sliced Up Press as well as in JMWW Journal and MIDLVLMAG. She lives near Chicago, Illinois and spends most of her time with her dog, who is a very good boy. She can be found at www.GraceDalyAuthor.com, or @GraceDalyAuthor for Twitter and Instagram.
There’s a little ghost that swings under a tree.
In my backyard, every night when the sun goes down.
I put that tire swing up for my kids.
When they outgrew it, I left it to remember,
Their youth and those days that I’ll never get back.
On a night when I couldn’t fall asleep
The creak and the groan of old rope called me to my window.
I pushed aside the curtain, a flutter of material hitching my breath.
A little ghost was swinging under my tree.
A little child pumping its legs and smiling with glee.
I wanted to go down and ask who they were.
I wanted to go sit and watch them awhile.
Instead, I remained and offered a wave,
The little ghost saw and offered one back.
They’ve come to swing under my tree for years,
As long as I’m alive I’ll leave that swing there.
For there’s a little ghost who once died, their life over too soon,
If my swing can bring them joy, then that’s what I’ll do.
A 2X Splatterpunk-Nominated Author, Steve Stred lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with his
wife, son and their staffy, Cocoa.
His work has been described as haunting, bleak and is frequently set in the woods near where he grew up. He’s been fortunate to appear in numerous anthologies with some truly amazing
He is an Active Member of the HWA.
Follow Steve below:
Tik Tok: @stevestredauthor
Universal Book Link: author.to/stevestred
The final three miles of the ride,
that part when you drop down into the Cliff Creek drainage,
is mostly alpine meadows.
In early summer the grasses wave and the birds sing
except for one stretch where the forest has taken over, pine and fir from creek bottom to cliffside.
When you come to it you know you’re finally getting close to camp and it’s where
in late summer the evergreens offer cool dark respite from the sun and the heat and the dust
but it’s late fall now and late fall here in the high country might as well be middle of winter in the lowlands.
Trouble with the pack string has me running behind
past sundown and still facing an hour on the trail
thank god for the full moon on the crusty snow--
the world is drained of color, all blacks and whites and greys in-between--
but it’s enough that I can keep an eye on the string behind me and watch that the packs are riding true.
We hit that stretch of pines, though, and everything is different;
the trees eat all the moonlight, drink all the sound and swallow us up.
I’ve traveled this path more times than I can count, I’d thought it a familiar friend
but now I’m desperate to be done with it, to be gone from here.
The darkness has weight and mass and form from which I might never emerge.
Dry mouth and pounding heart.
Reins slack in my hands, I leave it to my saddlehorse to lead us onward
he plods, unconcerned, no thoughts beyond the feed bucket waiting at the end of the trek.
When he and the rest of the string have been unsaddled and fed
And I’m in the cook tent at the stove
warm and dry and tired
I laugh at myself to be so shook at a little bit of darkness.
There was never anything going to reach out at me from the shadows
there was nothing in the forest or the fields turning its attention to my passage.
Years away and miles later, I think I understand why my thoughts return to that night.
I think I’ve come to realize that a country breeze can seem a loving caress,
a storm may appear to be all anger and fury,
but to the wind, to the trees, the rocks, the wilds, it’s really none of it to do with me;
we flatter ourselves that nature notices us but it’s all playacting
on someone’s part.
Plants grow and waters flow;
where the sunbeams and moonbeams fall, there is light and where they don’t, there is not.
With me or without.
That night, I glimpsed the indifference that is the truth of the wilderness.
RK Rugg is a non-Native native of the American West, a Jewish cowboy who spent most of his life wrangling both horses and words in the Montana Rockies and the Great Basin of Nevada. He currently lives in New England where he teaches middle-school writing by day and writes genre fiction, nonfiction and poetry by night. His work has appeared in Utopia, Illumen and Asimov's, among others, and he regularly presents at academic conferences on the topic of identity in speculative fiction. He can be found online at www.raymondkrugg.com.
No flowers grow there, just glass eyes
Glaring out of the dirt
The tops of their porcelain heads peeking
Mouths full of mud
Limbs woven with weeds
What secrets planted there?
Can be inflicted
On ones so small and still?
No little hearts to stop.
For rocks and stones
Spilled like milk
Gone sour in a swollen breast
The dog has defecated here
The headstones have been disturbed
The sacred ground made profane.
Nothing will grow.
Then nine months
Then nine months
Ripped from the earth
Torn out and cast aside.
Whose secrets do you, dear ones,
Melissa Pleckham is a Los Angeles-based writer, actor, and musician. Her work has been featured in or is forthcoming from Rooster Republic Press, Flame Tree Fiction, Luna Luna, Mind's Eye Publications' The Vampiricon, Head Shot Press’ Bang! An Anthology of Noir Fiction, and more. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association. She also plays bass and sings for the garage-goth duo Black Lullabies. Find her online at melissapleckham.com or on social media at @mpleckham.
You will linger, he told her,
In murksome memories made manifest
Through the guttering glow of tallow candles
And the mold-tinged stagnant bathwater.
You will howl from the other side
Your face pressed into the superviscous Veil
Your ectoplasmic essence seeping
Through pinprick perforations of bobbin lace.
Your return, an inevitability for those left behind
Who will denude every gilt-edged mirror
And, with the slow reluctance of death-row prisoners,
Lower the temperature to greet you.
You will sit at the kitchen table, he told her,
Facing the unctuous contrition of your family
And dance your slow-solidifying fingers
Through the blackest of bitter coffees.
The cemetery soil will congeal into a paste
Under your fractured fingernails,
The long-ingested poison
A regurgitation upon your tongue.
Avra Margariti is a queer author, Greek sea monster, and Rhysling-nominated poet with a fondness for the dark and the darling. Avra’s work haunts publications such as Strange Horizons, Vastarien, Asimov's, Reckoning, and F&SF. The Saint of Witches, Avra’s debut collection of horror poetry, is available from Weasel Press. You can find Avra on twitter (@avramargariti).
Hello, and welcome to another ASMR relaxation video. I'm your host, Kit.
If this is your first time watching an ASMR video, welcome. ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, aka the tingles. Not everyone will experience this while watching this video, but if you do, you may feel a pleasant tingling sensation going down your spine and into your arms and legs. Others experience ASMR as a languorous calm of the deep brain. Some just feel very relaxed. Whatever it is, we’re glad you’re here.
And if you don’t experience any of these, we guarantee that what we have to tell you at the end of this video will blow your mind.
Joining me today is a special guest who you may know. I won’t tell you their name just yet, and they’ve asked me not to reveal their countenance, but needless to say, they’re quite famous. Watch all the way to the end! You'll see!
Our guest today has requested some interesting and tingly items that I haven’t used before on this channel, so I hope they’ll be new and noteworthy for my regular listeners and watchers. For those of you new to ASMR, understand that these aren’t the greatest hits of ASMR—we won’t be doing nail tapping, toaster coaster, face brushing, hair brushing, cranial nerve exams, or your make-up.
No, these are one of a kind. Some I had never even heard of before. In fact, I’m not even sure I have the English words to describe some of what we’ll be doing. Rest assured, I’ll have our guest pronounce everything at the end, and if they’re able, type them into the comments section when the video posts—I know you all have really liked my non-English videos before, so stick around for some new and different words.
Also, if you can guess what these sounds are, please post in the comments with time stamps from the video when you recognized what they were. I’m interested to see what the guesses are, though I’d be really amazed if anyone gets them. I’d be surprised if anyone familiar with these sounds has regular internet access.
Let’s get started.
***3 minutes 12 seconds of wing flapping***
***4 minutes 32 seconds of bone-crunching (probable)***
***2 minutes 1 second of claws raking over dried human bones***
***5 minutes of blood dripping***
***7 minutes 6 seconds of the squelching sounds of mud (or coagulating blood) walking (probable)***
And now, my darlings, to reveal my guest. It's literally going to blow your mind.
Cthulhu, would you like to tell the audience what they've won?
***Garbled grumblings, madness-inducing thunder***
***Human screams, assumed to be human, identified as video uploader KitThooLooverASMR***
Jason P. Burnham loves to spend time with his wife, children, and dog. Find him on Twitter if it still exists at @AndGalen.
Until the reek of scorched flesh filled the air, as if it had been boiled up from the dusty road below, the trek to the old woman's house reminded Davis of the time when he was an inky-haired nine-year-old, and his father had left him 22 miles from home. After the sand had torn up his cheap boots and blistered his feet, his stepmother made him clean up his vomit inside the front door with his shirt before he could have some water.
His hair was now the color of an unwashed chalkboard. He had a horse, a mule, and cargo: the Bavarian and his sister. The pair were elderly, easily mistaken for a couple, and bound with rope.
Davis didn’t have a plan.
“Don’t be fooled by their sweet air of innocence,” the old woman had said to him in Glenrio two weeks past. She had come to him in the tavern, like they all did, promising bounty. “They’re killers,” she had said. “Or, at least, they think they are.” She was unlike his usual clientele—bank managers, scorned lovers, crooked sheriffs—an elderly woman with perfectly white hair, perfectly round teeth, a twinkle in her eye, and a sweetness he couldn’t resist.
“It is impossibility,” the Bavarian had said after Davis pinned his arms behind his back. He found the two in an apartment above the bank in San Albino.
“But what other is to explain?” his sister said. “Please,” she begged Davis, her wrinkled hands working in the folds of her dress. Sweat matted her gray hair to her forehead. “You must to believe. She is evil old, old woman.” Davis cinched their knots and positioned them on the mule. They were frail and frightened. And insistent that the sweet old woman had tried to kill them once upon a time.
He spat into the sand now and adjusted the wide brim of his hat against the sun. He wagered they were just three miles out from her house. The stench was like the crust of coffee at the bottom of a kettle, cast upon a sunbaked carcass. It filled his nostrils like rain in a thirsty creek bed.
When the house shimmered into view, he dabbed his eyes with his bandana. The Bavarian and his sister huddled together on the mule.
At the final knoll before a gray yard opened like a dead flower, his horse spilled him to the ground and took off in the direction they had come. The mule walked a small, confused circle. Davis looked long at its cargo, whose grim faces seemed to carry more than the present discomfort. He recalled when he was eleven, and his dad showed him how to break a horse after a mustang wandered near their house one morning. That was the first time Davis had fired a gun, too, after his stepmother had come outside with a pot and a lid and banged while the horse jerked in every direction, eventually taking him down a sharp decline to the gulley below, breaking her rear left leg.
Davis let the Bavarian and his sister stay with the mule while he walked to the front door, his bandana tied tight over his nose. He had cut their ties. Tendrils of a plan were taking shape, and he thought he could still get his payment. He stood for a long time with the thumb of his right hand hooked in a belt loop and its three remaining fingers teasing the handle of his revolver, and then the door swung into darkness.
“Where are they?” a voice called. It was the same voice that had said to him in the tavern, “They’ll try to tell you I wanted to eat them. That I lured them into a house made of candy. If you believe a story for little kiddies like that, then maybe you’re not the one for this job.”
Davis felt a pair of hands press on his lower back; his boots clucked on the hard wood of the living room as he staggered inside. He heard a suck of air just before the heavy thunk of the front door closing. The old woman stood in the doorway to the kitchen, from where intense heat flowed that could make the desert summer feel refreshing. She was not the sweet old woman with perfectly round teeth and perfectly white hair who had cornered him in the tavern. She had few teeth. Her hair was blackened and patchy. Her skin, too. Her dress hung on what remained of her body in scorched tatters. Davis could see her left cheekbone, her right clavicle, half of her ribcage, and all the bones in her right hand, which she held stiffly near her mouth as if stifling laughter.
He spun to find that the front door did not have a knob on the inside. That must have been the joke she had been keeping to herself. He emptied his revolver’s chambers into the door, and sunlight rayed into the room.
“Please forgive,” the Bavarian said through the holes.
The heat from the kitchen pressed on Davis’s back like a freshly hewn hide. He watched the two walk across the gray yard and mount the mule. He breathed deeply from streams of desert air, then turned to the voice saying, “You were warned, weren’t you?”
He felt the useless weight of his gun in his hand and let it clank on the floor. He wondered what was in the kitchen behind the charred and rotting old woman and thought of how his father forbade him to ever go into his stepmother’s kitchen. Naturally, the kitchen became to his curiosity a mirage to a parched throat, and one day when he was six, after being caught trying to quench that particular thirst, his stepmother helped separate his pinky finger from his right hand.
He used that hand to wipe sweat from his brow.
“I sure was,” he said.
Jeremy Wenisch is a software tester living in Princeton, West Virginia, with his wife and their books. He writes fiction darkly inspired by folklore, including stories appearing in Whistling Shade, Ink Stains Vol. 14, and Bending Genres.
This night, I walk within empty echoes
Of waist-deep weary fog, sinking to
The crumbling floor of futility
Dripping minutes bleed through cracked
Rusty hours, as wafting feathers
Of broken rest circle dreams
Devoid of lullabies--
In waning monotone
Pillow smothered murmurs
Cover breath of crushed voices
Not even stealing a skeletal whisper
Past my withered lips.
Michelle Faulkner lives outside Portland, OR, with her husband, her cat Little Miss, and her dogs Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Her work has appeared in The Literary Yard, Alternate Route, Westward Quarterly, Sparks of Calliope and others. She has also been published in two poetry anthologies, PS: It’s Poetry and PS: It’s Still Poetry, both available on Amazon.com, and also in several upcoming anthologies from Poet’s Choice. When not writing, she enjoys true crime shows and watching the Food Network, although does not actually cook.
Magellan paused for breath at the edge of the ridge and looked down into the canyon. Hellswatch Cabin stood roughly fifty yards from the river, dwarfed by a nearby boulder that had crashed to the valley floor thousands of years before. The high canyon walls obscured direct sunlight outside of the peak midday hours, blanketing the cabin in half-lit shadow for the majority of the day.
The first shiver brushed up Magellan’s spine at the sight of the darkened cabin and lingered beneath his sweat-drenched shirt.
“There’s been poaching in the Sombre Canyon,” Cooper had said on Monday morning. “We need to send a ranger out to Hellswatch. Think you can handle it?”
Magellan swiveled in his chair, turning his back on the permit applications that swelled his inbox. “Hell yes,” he grinned.
Cooper sipped his coffee and leaned against the doorframe. “You might want to think about it,” he said, “it’s a risky assignment. Men return… well… changed.”
“C’mon, Coop,” Magellan rolled his eyes. “You think I’m scared of grizzlies? I’ve been around bears my entire life.”
Cooper shook his head. “It’s not just the bears. Not at Hellswatch. The legends say the Sombre Canyon’s cursed, you know. You wouldn’t remember the last guy—we haven’t had a ranger out there in over a decade.”
“What happened to the last guy?”
Cooper frowned. “Not sure,” he paused. “Something just wasn’t right.” The words hung between them, thick with uncertainty and… fear? Magellan waited for more information, but Cooper just shrugged. “He got promoted to a desk job in D.C. not too long after.”
Magellan’s expression soured, “Are you trying to send me to D.C.?”
Cooper laughed, “No, no. I need you here. Real outdoorsmen are hard to find these days. That’s why I’m hoping you can handle the poachers and… whatever else is out there.”
Magellan tilted his head to one side, “I never thought you were superstitious, Coop.”
Cooper gave a wry smile and stepped back into the hall, “Just take care of yourself,” he said. “You leave in the morning.”
Magellan scrambled down the canyon and followed a game trail riddled with bear scat along the river. He stopped short, eyes widening at the sight of Hellswatch. Claw marks scraped across the length of the ancient logs. Magellan could almost hear the grating nails as they tore through the weathered bark, shrieking above the bass growl of an 800-pound predator. He took an inadvertent step back as fear gripped his chest, then shook his head and continued towards the cabin.
Once inside, Magellan deposited his pack on the low cot and surveyed the room. An old rifle rested against the east wall. A narrow table and chairs hugged the wall opposite, and an old rocking chair kept company with the wood stove. Magellan started a fire and busied himself with unpacking. After devouring a dehydrated dinner, he settled himself in the rocking chair, cleaning his pistol and studying a map of the canyon.
The first knock sounded faint, almost inaudible. Magellan paused, alert, but no sound followed. He crept to the nearest window and peered beneath the curtain at the empty front stoop. Twilight had fallen, and the first stars twinkled in the purple sliver of sky above the canyon. The shadows deepened beneath the boulder. Looking out across the river, Magellan searched for movement along the grassy bank. Nothing stirred. He dropped the curtain and bolted the lock.
Magellan had just taken a sip of whiskey from his flask and returned his attention to the map when the shriek of claws racked across the west wall. He froze, then tiptoed across the cabin to inspect the rifle—it was loaded.
The second shiver needled the hairs on the back of his neck like tiny claws seeking a footing to tear across his skin.
The clawing stopped. Rifle in hand, Magellan caught sight of his pale reflection in a dark window. He peered into the murky sockets of his bloodless face, then yanked the curtain closed. The rocking chair creaked beneath him as he took another sip of whiskey and settled the rifle across the arm rails.
The claws screamed again, echoing through the canyon. Inside, the fire roared in the wood stove and the rocking chair creaked. The claws wrapped around to the front door, then stopped. Something heavy thumped against the door, throwing its weight against the hinges. Magellan positioned the rifle against his shoulder. Again and again something pounded the door, but the iron bolts held firm. Magellan breathed, observing that no claw marks marred the inside of the cabin, then gasped as the bolts slowly turned.
The door swung open. Magellan raised the rifle, bracing his lungs for the deathly stench of the grizzly bear, but a different odor pierced his nostrils. A familiar scent, like the rotten-egg bubbles that rose from the depths of the nearby thermal features, causing the tourists to giggle and pinch their noses. Sulfur.
Instead of the shadow of a bear, Magellan’s own moonlit figure stepped into the doorway. The same hair, only shinier. The same face, but more symmetrical. No bump blighted the bridge of his nose, no freckles dotted his forehead, and no eyes filled his sockets.
Magellan’s breath grew ragged as the figure stepped into the room. He moved to pull the trigger, but his fingers froze. The third shiver traveled from his fingertips to his shoulders, turning so cold it burned like fire, paralyzing every muscle. His other self brushed the barrel of the rifle aside and leaned over the rocking chair, resting his hands on the carved arms. Magellan stared up into the cavernous eyes and felt the final shiver tighten and squeeze every last inch of warmth from his bones. Unable to look away, he watched as a pearlescent swirl filled the vacant sockets. A spark of hellfire lit the white eyes and cooled to lava-rock irises. A half-smile, a wink, and Magellan’s vision went dark.
Cate Vance writes from the mountains of Montana where she is inspired by misty mornings, brilliant days, and starry nights. Her short fiction has appeared in Sky Island Journal and Scribes*MICRO*Fiction, among other outlets. Follow her on Twitter @WriterCSVance.
You can find more about Cate Vance on her website: https://catevance.com