Size / / /

CONTENT WARNING:


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
18 May 2020

“Have you seen the DEATH/GRIP Challenge meme?” Benito Oliveira said. “Yeah, it’s pretty funny,” she said. “It’s people pretending not to kill something with their off hand,” he said, as though she hadn’t responded.
By: Johnny Compton
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Johnny Compton's “The DEATH/GRIP Challenge.”
One spring day, My grandfather caught the universe that just revived.
By: Jong-Ki Lim
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Jong-Ki Lim's “The Fall of Snakes.”
Issue 11 May 2020
By: Gabriela Santiago
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Ashley Bao
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 4 May 2020
By: Vida Cruz
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Raimo Kangasniemi
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Apr 2020
By: Tamara Jerée
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: L. D. Lewis
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: L. D. Lewis
Issue 13 Apr 2020
By: Jo Miles
Art by: Galen Dara
By: Jo Miles
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jasmeet Dosanjh
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Jasmeet Dosanjh
Issue 6 Apr 2020
By: Elizabeth Crowe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Shuyi Yin
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Shuyi Yin
By: Nome Emeka Patrick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Mar 2020
By: Jason P Burnham
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Tara Calaby
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Kaily Dorfman
By: Camille Louise Goering
By: Brian Beatty
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kaily Dorfman
Podcast read by: Brian Beatty
Issue 23 Mar 2020
Issue 16 Mar 2020
By: Lisa Nan Joo
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jenny Thompson
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
100 African Writers of SFF - Part Fifteen: Ghana
Issue 9 Mar 2020
By: Leah Bobet
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Emily Smith
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Load More
%d bloggers like this: