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The unicorn that lived on the edge of town had been
missing for quite some time, since I was still a girl with
cotton skin and a stitched-on little mouth. I bump into
them at the corner store for the first time in years,
buying milk, like me. They had sold their house,
quit their job and gone seeing the world. They saw a
narwhal. Did I know people used to peddle narwhal
tusks, touting them as unicorn horns? Damn swindlers.
Narwhals are pretty cool, too. They don’t deserve that.
Where does the unicorn live now, then? Oh, just, here,
there. In the middle of the woods, mostly. What have I
been up to these years? I shrug. I got a job, but buying
a house? Pfft. Seeing the world—well, that’d be nice.
“I’m not a virgin anymore,” I say to them. They snort.
I don’t know how to take that. Only I remember petting
them when I was so much younger, when the autumn
leaves hadn’t fallen from the trees one too many times
for me to notice anymore. The unicorn’s gentleness then.
But they still nudge my head with their nose now,
let me stroke their fur. At my touch, their horn glows
a universe of colours, like the years poured back
from one cracked jar into a perfect basin, like this
autumn right here was the crispiest, most golden
autumn that had ever been. —You’re still bisexual, aren’t you?
Oh. Is that what makes me worthy of a unicorn’s love?
“I’m still bisexual… I think.” I glance skyward, waiting
for them to simply eviscerate me. What kind of fool has sex
with a man, lets him crawl into her bed night after
night, the same man, week into week into year, and still
doesn’t know if she likes men? People of other genders,
yes, I know without even kissing their ghosts in my dreams
that I’m attracted to them. Men, though. Who knows?
Who knows, even when his mouth is on the skin
beneath my bottommost rib, even when my hand won’t let
go of his hair. But the unicorn doesn’t run me through.
They just laugh, their horn projecting the whole night sky
of constellations onto my dark shirt, a swirl of stardust in pink,
in purple, in blue, sweeping across my chest, expanding.



Cynthia So was born in Hong Kong and lives in London. Their work can be found in Uncanny, GlitterShip, Cast of Wonders, and elsewhere. They are also one of the new voices in Proud, an anthology of LGBTQ+ YA stories, poems, and art by LGBTQ+ creators, published by Stripes in March 2019. They can be found on Twitter @cynaesthete.
Current Issue
27 Jul 2020

Stefan škrtl další sirkou a zapálil jednu ze svíček, které s sebou přinesl, pak další a další, dokud je neobklopoval celý kruh. Hanna nakrčila nos. Svíčky vydávaly zvláštní zápach, ale ne nepříjemný. Připomínal čerstvě posečenou trávu. I jejich tmavě olivová barva byla nezvyklá.
半透明の大江さんが洗面所から出てきて、いつもと同じようにテーブルに向かう。見えない食パンにバターを塗り、見えない新聞を片手に頰張る。まるでパントマイムだ。私はフローリングの床に座り込み、一連の動作を眺めた。
By: Amel Moussa
Translated by: Hager Ben Driss
Many things in my kitchen resemble me; I relate to them; we entertain one another. Water, fire, and electricity vegetables, water rich fruits, and dry fruits
أشياء ٌكثيرةٌ في مطبخي تُشبهني أتماهى مع هذه الأشياء ونُؤنسُ بعضنا.
He ignored her remark, ignited another match and lit a small candle. Then another one. He continued until a circle of candles surrounded them on the stage. Hanna scrunched her nose. The candles exuded a strange smell, but not an unpleasant one. It resembled freshly mown grass. The color was unusual too, a deep olive-green.
By: Eisuke Aikawa
Translated by: Toshiya Kamei
The translucent Ōe-san steps out of the bathroom and sits at the table as usual. He spreads butter on an invisible slice of bread, takes a bite, and chews it, holding the morning paper in his other hand. Just like a mime. I sit on the floor and observe his movements.
Issue 20 Jul 2020
By: Ranylt Richildis
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: JD Fox
By: JD Fox
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: JD Fox
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons is now accepting fiction submissions for our Mexico Special issue, which will be published at the end of November 2020!
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons lanza su convocatoria en busca textos narrativos para su Especial de México, que se publicará a finales de noviembre de 2020!
Issue 13 Jul 2020
By: Alex Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Kimberly Kaufman
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 6 Jul 2020
By: Stephen O'Donnell
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Thomas White
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Jun 2020
By: Carlie St. George
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Janelle C. Shane
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 22 Jun 2020
By: Neha Maqsood
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Neha Maqsood
Issue 15 Jun 2020
By: Remy Reed Pincumbe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Preston Grassmann
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Jun 2020
By: Kathleen Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Keaton Bennett
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Jun 2020
By: Sheree Renée Thomas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Maggie Damken
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