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(Step 1)

Do not forget
your crimson cloak
hanging by the door,
whose stains you now alone
must wash in the dust-pregnant

No mother
to see you through.

The red,red color will drive
the wolf into a frenzy.
It will hide
the evidence.

(Step 2)

Make it a sunny day, so you might watch
the blood mist and cast a red-hued sheen
where it drips upon the dry,dry earth.
Only clouds abound?

Burn them.

Burn them away and pick the sun out
of the sky. Make it attend to you
as you prowl the woods
to find your wolf.

(Step 3)

Carry a basket filled with sweets,
with ripened jams, with the thin blades
you sharpen in the gloaming
lit only by the sparse flame you keep
in the hearth of a home which shouts
its tomb-like silence until, ears covered,
you enjoin with it your own
lonely scream.

(Step 4)

Hum a melancholic tune
as you slow to a meander
through woods both dark and deep.

This is Wolf Country.

Let your song rise on twisted breezes
and wash like lurid propositions
over your wolf.

(Step 5)

Notice when your wolf begins to stalk.
Lure it further from its den,
further from the village,
further from all hope.

(Step 6)

The wolf will come to you then.
It will come to you
as Mother-Father-Sister-Brother.
It will prance a merry jig,
cavorting in their clothes,
their gnarled hair still twined
in its blood-stained grin.

The wolf will take you up in dance.
It will take you up in danger.
It will take you up
in ecstasy.

(Step 7)

This  is where I leave you.
This  is where you make your choice.
This  is where you skin your wolf,
where you kill the thing which haunts
you, which has always lain beneath
your bed when night thickens about
your body,
which left
a child, a loss,
a feral creature of the wild
in your own right.

Or, you let the wolf take you.

You unbutton your dress.
The wolf sloughs off your skin.
You scoop out your eyes.
The wolf claws out your heart.
You break off your fingers.
The wolf takes out your soul.
It gobbles you whole.
You join with it,
with Mother-Father-Sister-Brother.

You become
one more dance,
one more costume,
one more trick it plays
to prey upon the living,
but you are no longer alone.
You are no longer alone.

You are no longer alone.

G.E. Woods (they/she) first ran into the arms of horror as a 5-year-old working in haunted houses. Queer, nonbinary, and invisibly disabled, they are a poet, memoirist, and writes SFF/H short fiction and novels. Her short fiction is published in Your Body is Not Your Body and Moonflowers & Nightshade. They talk to the trees near their home outside Chicago. Find her on IG & Twitter @gewoodswrites.
Current Issue
29 May 2023

We are touched and encouraged to see an overwhelming response from writers from the Sino diaspora as well as BIPOC creators in various parts of the world. And such diverse and daring takes of wuxia and xianxia, from contemporary to the far reaches of space!
By: L Chan
The air was redolent with machine oil; rich and unctuous, and synthesised alcohol, sharper than a knife on the tongue.
“Leaping Crane don’t want me to tell you this,” Poppy continued, “but I’m the most dangerous thing in the West. We’ll get you to your brother safe before you know it.”
Many eons ago, when the first dawn broke over the newborn mortal world, the children of the Heavenly Realm assembled at the Golden Sky Palace.
Winter storm: lightning flashes old ghosts on my blade.
transplanted from your temple and missing the persimmons in bloom
immigrant daughters dodge sharp barbs thrown in ambush 十面埋伏 from all directions
Many trans and marginalised people in our world can do the exact same things that everyone else has done to overcome challenges and find happiness, only for others to come in and do what they want as Ren Woxing did, and probably, when asked why, they would simply say Xiang Wentian: to ask the heavens. And perhaps we the readers, who are told this story from Linghu Chong’s point of view, should do more to question the actions of people before blindly following along to cause harm.
Before the Occupation, righteousness might have meant taking overt stands against the distant invaders of their ancestral homelands through donating money, labour, or expertise to Chinese wartime efforts. Yet during the Occupation, such behaviour would get one killed or suspected of treason; one might find it better to remain discreet and fade into the background, or leave for safer shores. Could one uphold justice and righteousness quietly, subtly, and effectively within such a world of harshness and deprivation?
Issue 22 May 2023
Issue 15 May 2023
Issue 8 May 2023
Issue 1 May 2023
Issue 24 Apr 2023
Issue 17 Apr 2023
Issue 10 Apr 2023
Issue 3 Apr 2023
Issue 27 Mar 2023
Issue 20 Mar 2023
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