Size / / /

Click here for the podcast, or listen to it below:

 

Mother
     A lifter of veils. A concocter of remedies. A girl that used to look like me.
     My mother has no secrets, keeps none—not of flesh, not of blood, not of hands around her neck.

Father
     The birth date on his papers does not match the day he was born. My father is fifty-five and four ghost days. He comes and goes like the tide. His greatest fear, that we don't love him enough.

Brother
     Gone. A womb, a wound, a tomb.

Sister
     I was born with no sisters. I made my own out of wax and rope and knife. She looks like a fox.
     My sister's ghost walks in my shoes every night, pacing around the room, leaving candledrip behind.

Grandfathers
     The ghosts of my grandfathers are Russian tobacco merchants with pianist mothers called Alexandra. They speak Turkish and Russian and Pontic Greek. The ghosts are wrestlers, haunting the borderlands between knowing who you are and not.
     Grandfathers' ghosts have little balloons in their hearts. At night, they grasp my arm and try to speak, but can't.

Lover
     Neither man nor woman, and both. Ask me not what is a man, but when. Ask not what is a woman, but when, and how, and for whom.

Waterfalls
     The first waterfall I saw was haunted by foxes. Their ghosts briefly abandoned the furriers' stalls lining the edges of the cliff from which the water fell, and joined me behind the curtain of water.
     There is this story about a great revolutionary in Greece who bid his comrades farewell with these words: "We will meet again at the furrier's stall."
     The revolutionary was referencing an old folk tale about a fox who, having raised her young so that they could take care of themselves, finally sent them away.
     "When shall we meet again?" the little ones asked their mother fox.
     "At the furrier's stall," the mother fox said.
     I stood behind the waterfall, watching the vulpine ghosts fade in and out of view. I thought I heard Father crying then—a dry sobbing, like a cough—saying over and over,
     "They don't love me. They don't love me."

Language
     Words in your mouth don't mean what I thought they meant. I have compiled this dictionary of what little truth I could decipher:
     Good (adj.) morning (n.): I love you.
     Uncle, the (n.): Your menses.
     He (pron.): The man whose name I shall not speak.
     Wolf, the (n.): He.
     Then (adv.): When you were thirteen and old, so old already.

Trains
     Ghost rail tracks line my arms. On them, He comes and goes like the midnight train.

Music
     I dance to the tune of three ghost organs that divide me into equal parts. One in the head, one in the chest, one between the legs.

Dancer
     This is me, buried under swaths of flesh. Down here, I dance invisibly. Father taught me all the steps.
     Underneath my skin, I come and go.

Television
     At midnight, the TV is blaring mystical truth, dubbed dreams about self-healing women and flying slugs. I find your ghost messages hidden in ads and infomercials, tucked away in the empty space between pixels. Behind broadcast mouths and eyes and wavy hair, I hear you say:
     "The wolves dance in purple moonlight. Will you haunt me? Will you? Will you haunt me will you haunt me now will you?"
     and
     "Don't believe what the foxes say. Mother foxes are all liars. You may find me, but we will never meet again."
     and
     "Good morning. Listen to the music."




Natalia Theodoridou is the World Fantasy Award-winning and Nebula-nominated author of over a hundred stories published in Uncanny, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Nightmare, Choice of Games, and elsewhere. Find him at www.natalia-theodoridou.com, or follow @natalia_theodor on Twitter.
Current Issue
18 Oct 2021

Dreams were extensive and exhausting projects, not to mention expensive. Nightmares, on the other hand, were quick.
A low-slung hoverlimo, which coiled upward
By: K. Ceres Wright
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents K. Ceres Wright's “Mission: Accomplished.”
Issue 11 Oct 2021
By: Lisabelle Tay
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 4 Oct 2021
By: Anthony Okpunor
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
4 Oct 2021
If you want to donate, or check how close we are to unlocking another story, poem, review, or essay, here's the link.
Issue 2 Oct 2021
Podcast: Fund Drive 2021 Poetry 
By: Michael Meyerhofer
By: Wale Ayinla
Podcast read by: Michael Meyerhofer
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
29 Sep 2021
Opening to fiction submissions for the month of November!
Issue 27 Sep 2021
By: Mary Robles
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Sep 2021
By: Clara Ward
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Art by: Courtney Skaggs
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 13 Sep 2021
By: Steve Castro
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 6 Sep 2021
By: Yuna Kang
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Yuna Kang
By: B. Pladek
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 30 Aug 2021
By: Ian Goh
By: Andy Winter
By: Yong-Yu Huang
By: Sunny Vuong
By: Natalie Wang
By: Mark Dimaisip
By: Yvanna Vien Tica
By: Jack Kin Lim
By: May Chong
By: P. H. Low
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Ian Goh
Podcast read by: Yong-Yu Huang
Podcast read by: Sunny Vuong
Podcast read by: Natalie Wang
Podcast read by: Mark Dimaisip
Podcast read by: Yvanna Vien Tica
Podcast read by: Jack Kin Lim
Podcast read by: May Chong
Podcast read by: P. H. Low
Load More
%d bloggers like this: