Size / / /

When she was born

her parents both rejoiced

and sent the invitations

winging out to all but one,

and then they waited,

breathless, for her

tale to start.

She was a child then,

too young to care about

the crystal slippers,

or the potions that

they smeared into her

golden hair to make it

grow to tower length.

But some years later,

when she caught

her mother slipping peas

beneath her satin sheets,

and found her father

thrusting glowing blades

into a granite slab,

she swapped her fine

embroidered clothing

for the tatters of

a downstairs maid,

begged a tired nag from

a too-trusting stable hand

and slipped away.

Her life too short to waste

on other people's fantasies,

she went to find her own,

instead of waiting for

some random hero to

come riding through a

strictly scripted fairy tale.

Marcie Lynn Tentchoff is an Aurora Award-winning poet and writer who lives on the west coast of Canada with her family and various animals, both domesticated and not. Her work has appeared in such publications as Weird Tales, On Spec, Mythic Delirium, and Aeon. To contact the author, send her email at
Current Issue
25 Sep 2023

People who live in glass houses are surrounded by dirt birds
After a century, the first colony / of bluebirds flew out of my mouth.
Over and over the virulent water / beat my flame down to ash
In this episode of  Critical Friends , the Strange Horizons SFF criticism podcast, Aisha and Dan talk to critic and poet Catherine Rockwood about how reviewing and criticism feed into creative practice. Also, pirates.
Writing authentic stories may require you to make the same sacrifice. This is not a question of whether or not you are ready to write indigenous literature, but whether you are willing to do so. Whatever your decision, continue to be kind to indigenous writers. Do not ask us why we are not famous or complain about why we are not getting support for our work. There can only be one answer to that: people are too busy to care. At least you care, and that should be enough to keep my culture alive.
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