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Red

When we step into the cottage
we know what we are getting into

Didn't our mother tell us not to talk to strangers?

but we enter anyway
into the smell of iron.

We have been walking in the woods all day—
we have been walking in the wood since we were born
and now we must squeeze our soul into the shape of four walls, a roof
where it is small and dark, like the belly of an animal.

The bed is waiting, but the fire comes first.

"Take off your cloak, my dear, and lay it in the fire
                                    you won’t need it anymore."

We lay the red hood on the flames and watch them eat it up
                                    they love it so
devouring the tender fibers.

We peel away all of our layers and consign them to the fire
until the ashes of cotton underpants mix
with the ashes of blissful ignorance
until we are all that is left.

Now we are truly afraid, when the darkness touches our nakedness
and we see ourselves reflected in the shadows
and it terrifies us.

And that is why
when the voice calls from the bed
                                   "Come get into bed with me."
we go like docile lambs

to the smell of blood
and the gleam of eyes
where a grimace of big teeth
promises to teach us to go disguised
in other people's skins.




Charis lives with her cat, Mithril, in a room full of books and craft supplies. She makes damn fine cakes. Her website is agreyeyedgirl.tumblr.com.
Current Issue
2 Jun 2020

Our editors have seen a massive increase in submissions from writers since the Covid-19 crisis, and we want to be able to read and publish that work.
We didn’t want your nail clippings or your blood. Your laughter, or tears, would do.
They say that the Voyagers will outlast us for billions of years.
as if I wouldn’t wish to get all my deaths over with at once instead of waiting in dirt
In place of fear that they will lose control, the posthumans accept that control was never in their grasp and that the natural world extends beyond their reach and that nature has a beauty that is beyond the human.
Issue 1 Jun 2020
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Strange Horizons
Issue 25 May 2020
By: Dana Wilde
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 18 May 2020
By: Johnny Compton
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jong-Ki Lim
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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
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