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To all the desk did Rock announce,
“I’m taking myself a bride!
Fair Paper shall my true love be,
And never leave my side.

“I’ll hold her, as her paperweight,
Her restlessness I’ll soothe.
She’ll wrap me in her soft, white form
And make my roughness smooth.”

But Scissor snapped her steel and cried,
“She does not love you true!
She’ll wrap you tight and hold you fast
And surely smother you.

“Oh, Rock, how do you not recall
The music we had made
Each time your roughness danced with me
And honed my singing blades?

“Be mine, my Rock, give me your strength
And I’ll make you a pledge:
It’s you alone whom I shall love,
Who need not fear my edge.”

But Rock would hear no more of this.
He said, “I spoke in truth.
And I’ll take Paper for my wife,
Who makes my roughness smooth.”

The wedding morning came, with vows
That bound the leaf and stone.
Rock beamed his love and sang his joy.
His bride beside him shone.

And Scissor watched, and Scissor wept,
But no one paid her mind.
When bride and groom embraced, she sighed,
“Was ever love so blind?”

The guests began to dance and sway
A fine and sweeping sight!
Around her husband Paper spun
And wrapped him up so tight.

Poor Scissor, she could bear no more
This cruel romantic lapse.
She fell upon her darling Rock
And cut his love to scraps.

“Remember what I was to you,
Remember now my pledge.
I’ll not lose you to Paper’s wiles.
She should have feared my edge.”

He took her by her handle red,
A coldness in his heart.
He smashed against her blades and hinge
And shattered her apart.

His spirit broken, doubly so,
Rock on his tears did choke.
He tossed himself from off the desk
And on the floor he broke.

To wastebasket were all consigned
That very afternoon.
Rock lay upon on his lover’s corpse,
With his beloved’s strewn.

’Til Paper rot and Scissor rust
They lie with Rock entombed.
Destruction sought, destruction found,
Three lovers sadly doomed.



Jessica Lévai has loved stories and storytellers her whole life. After a double major in history and mathematics, a PhD in Egyptology, and eight years of the adjunct shuffle, she devoted herself to writing full-time. Her first novella is a vampire romance written in Pushkin sonnets. Check out her website, JessicaLevai.com, for links and more.
Current Issue
29 Nov 2021

It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that our donor's choice special issue for 2021 is titled—simply—Friendship.
The year before this, the girls at school had called her Little Lila .
Pictures of me that day are kept in the ship’s files, sent back to Earth to be used in my captors’ eventual war crimes tribunals.
Perhaps a new urban system of star navigation is needed
This world, covered in spectral ebullience, was tied together by bows of light
Are you a good witch / or a bad witch? / as if there’s an answer earned, inscribed in bubbles reflecting an inverse crown.
When does the pursuit of pure thought, pure idealism, pure escapism become detrimental?
Issue 22 Nov 2021
Issue 15 Nov 2021
By: Madeline Grigg
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Nov 2021
By: Allison Parrish
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Nov 2021
By: Liam Corley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Liam Corley
Issue 25 Oct 2021
Strange Horizons
Issue 18 Oct 2021
By: K. Ceres Wright
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Oct 2021
By: Lisabelle Tay
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 4 Oct 2021
By: Anthony Okpunor
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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!
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