Size / / /

I.

Odessa burns
around us while you
place your hand on
the trigger, your lips to
my brow, say "we have
to go back." Again, I tell
myself all isn't lost. Your
fingers are steady, love
will surely save us
from oblivion.

II.

The 20s are lawless, filled
with the muck of survival, two
wars, three languages, our
people running
the underworld like
their birthright. This history
will be left here, discarded,
abandoned for tragedy, suffering,
death.

"How much?" I say. "How
much farther?" You
look at me, restless,
uncertain, enchanting like
a chasm, like the first time
I saw you, careless and
unprepared.

By the docks, Sonia the
thief, the temptress, smiles
at you, daring you to
tell her the truth. Her hand
is golden, yours stutters, it's me
who has to save you, pull
you away from the
Paradox.

The bullets we got
for our oath, in the 26th
century, are impossible
to replenish. "We have to
go back farther, until
something is different,"
you say.

III.

We’re back in a kingdom, raw
with injustice. The city
is different but still full
of our folk. Your dress is
even more lavish than
mine. Nobody imagines
themselves a peasant, given
a choice.

There's a girl in the shop. Nine
years old, working, illiterate. She's
one of your ancient mothers. Your
blood is her blood. She will
not live to see twenty. Your
hand is shaking, holding
the last two bullets and I’m
praying, now, to our god,
that this place is it.

"Why," you demand, "is it still
happening?" At the academy
you were better than me
at every subject. "We have
to go home, love," I say. We
have to leave here before
history happens
again.




Marina Berlin grew up speaking three languages in a coastal city far, far away. She’s an author of short stories who’s currently working on her first novel. You can follow her exploits on Twitter @berlin_marina or read more about her work at marinaberlin.org.
Current Issue
7 Oct 2019

Aboard the ghost ship Nine Lives there are the living, the dead, and a great many cats.
By: Charles Payseur
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Charles Payseur's “The Sloppy Mathematics of Half-Ghosts.”
the myriad flavours of ancient childhoods burst on our tongues in virtual experience
By: Davian Aw
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Davian Aw's “Those Who Tell the Stories.”
Issue 30 Sep 2019
Podcast: High Hopes 
By: Kali de los Santos
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Podcast: Progression 
By: Heitor Zen
Podcast read by: Julia Quandt
Podcast: Spider 
By: Sérgio Motta
Podcast read by: Sérgio Motta
Podcast: Replacement 
By: Isa Prospero
Podcast read by: Solaine Chioro
Monday: 3% 
,
Issue 23 Sep 2019
By: August Huerta
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Sep 2019
By: Marie Brennan
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Hester J. Rook
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Hester J. Rook
Issue 9 Sep 2019
By: Shiv Ramdas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Sarah Shirley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
31 Aug 2019
Brazil Special Issue call for fiction submissions!
Issue 26 Aug 2019
By: Cynthia So
Podcast read by: Cynthia So
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 19 Aug 2019
By: S. R. Mandel
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 12 Aug 2019
By: Niyah Morris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Dante Luiz
Art by: Em Allen
By: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Rasha Abdulhadi
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 5 Aug 2019
By: Aisha Phoenix
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Alexandra Seidel
Podcast read by: Alexandra Seidel
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
31 Jul 2019
We're all so very excited to put your funds and good faith to use, providing a platform for voices⁠ new and international, creative and resisting.
Load More
%d bloggers like this: