Tag Archive for: myth and legend


by Stephanie Parent


They say the goddess of spring was plucking a blossom when she was nabbed, yanked beneath the earth, but here’s the truth: Persephone’s desire made that chasm yawn wide.

Even blooming is a profession you can grow weary of; even beauty becomes a burden. Even a mother’s love can twist and turn, make you boil inside till you nearly burst, till you crush the heartless petals and crack the soil.

Even darkness is a rebirth. Persephone knew this when she descended; when she went looking for jewels and fruit, deep beneath the surface, where the sun’s light could never go.

Stephanie Parent

Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and a writer and reader of dark fiction.

Twitter: @SC_Parent

The Flowering

by Jameson Grey


I’ve always loved to be loved.

I look down upon myself, endlessly gazing at my reflection in the spring, reminded of my late twin sister’s beauty. Of my beauty.

I cannot leave now.

The air is no longer air. It has shifted—throttling my lungs as it flows through—like breathing has reversed somehow. Light-headed nausea tangles my mind, my guts.

My skin, it mottles. Bones soften, wilt. I strain toward the sun.

My feet take root. Become roots, drawing sustenance from below.

At this spring, I’ve been reborn while I watch. And although I remain Narcissus, I am flowering.

Jameson Grey

Jameson Grey is originally from England but now lives with his family in western Canada. His fiction and poetry have been published by Ghost Orchid Press, Black Hare Press and Hellbound Books.

Website: jameson-grey.com

La Quintrala and the Lord of Agony

by Ximena Escobar


Crimson petals, as bright as the blood she spilled, did nothing to soothe their wounds. Red, like her mane swaying, as branches tore her slaves’ skin and her pores wept.

She’d lain the flowers at His feet. Despite that, he still looked down on her. Hanging up there, on the crucifix.

No man looks at me like that in my house.

Decades later, as flames licked the eager underground and a priest returned Him home, He stretched his wooden arms at the doorway, too wide to pass.

Face up on her deathbed, mane red as hell, she pleaded to him.

Ximena Escobar

Ximena is writing short stories and poetry. Originally from Chile, she lives in Sydney with her family.

Facebook: @ximenautora 


by Constantine E. Kiousis


He’d been following her since the pub, her silhouette outlined against the pale moonlight. She’d caught his eye immediately, her black dress and furry bucket-hat screaming “money.” She wasn’t bad on the eyes either. Most of those stuck-up bitches weren’t.

She took a sharp turn down an alley. He grinned as he glanced around. No witnesses. Pulling a knife, he rushed down the backstreet and grabbed her, slamming her, back-first, against the wall.

Her hat fell.

His eyes widened as her hissing hair slithered and coiled.

His scream died in his throat as he fell back, shattering against the ground.

Constantine E. Kiousis

Constantine E. Kiousis spends most of his time wandering through the worlds he has created, exploring every nook and cranny and constantly discovering new places and stories that need to be told.

He’s currently plotting new ways to unleash the terrifying tales hiding in his mind upon the world, one word at a time.

Facebook: @KiousisStoryteller


by Rachel Reeves


Sweat soaks the man’s shirt, breaking his pale skin into tomato blotches. He scrabbles in the crossing, nails cracking in the sun. The box was here; the whispered stories had to be true.

“Searching for salvation, stranger?”

The scrabbling man stops and smooths his shirt, every bit the contrite child.

“Salvation? Naw, I passed salvation a while ago.”

“I can see that, stranger. You are stealing from my stoop, after all.”

Stealing? He’s never—

He’s bitten through his tongue, tasting rust and dripping red.

“Speak, sinner.”

The Other never loses His smile as the man drops and the dust drinks.

Rachel Reeves

Rachel Reeves lives in Shanghai, China. As an aspiring practitioner, she once had a tarot deck fall out of a window. Nonetheless she doggedly goes on, even if just to spite the universe. She is also a disability activist, book reviewer, and tea lover.

Find her work and her book reviews at:  rachelmrereeves.blogspot.com 

We Ride Through the Night

by Tim Law


We ride through the night, my master and I. At witch’s summons we arise from the pumpkin’s patch, sabre drawn and jack-o’-lantern head. We search until our quarry is found and then the race begins.

This part I love the most, the thrill of the chase. We ride across land we know by heart. Soon, like a frightened hare our quarry is cornered. Then thwack, we harvest the head of the witch’s foe and lay it at her farmhouse door.

Then back to the earth and worms we return until we hear the witch’s chant. She summons us once more.

Tim Law

Tim Law heralds from a little town in Southern Australia called Murray Bridge. A happily married father of three, family is very important to him. He works at the local library, surrounded by so many wonderful stories he’s constantly inspired to write.

His general musings can be found at somecallmetimmy.blogspot.com.au/

La Sihuanaba

by Xavier Garcia


It’s five to midnight and I’m nowhere when I see her, dressed in white; a blushing bride.

She’s not here to give me anything like the life growing inside my wife’s tummy, just the birthing of maggots in my gut.

And yet, how sweet would it be to taste her lips, to feel the soft press of her against me.

So, I go to her.

Go, so we may say our black vows to one another; a wedding ceremony attended by no one, officiated by an indifferent moon, and consummated with all the promise of euphoric rot and everlasting silence.

Xavier Garcia

My name is Xavier Garcia and I am a writer/editor from Toronto, Canada. Most recently, a short horror film I wrote/produced won the Best Film award at the 2020 Rue Morgue and Sinister Nights Film Festival. You can find me walking the nightmare corpse-city of R’lyeh, or on Twitter @xavier_agarcia.


by Pauline Yates


Drunk on Samsu, I muddle the warning about a white-dressed woman with long, lank hair. Who said that? The bartender? No, a Malaysian beggar; a story for a coin, he said as I staggered home.

A generous man, I obliged, and learned about the mythical Kuntilanak, a vengeful female spirit who lures unsuspecting men and feasts on their organs, her wickedness driven by the stillborn soul she cannot birth. “She reeks of frangipani. Smell that boy, you run, run…” I shuddered. ‘Twas a good story.

Continuing, I meet a woman, lost, alone. I stop to help; her frangipani-perfume is irresistible…

Pauline Yates

Queensland writer, Pauline Yates, loves to explore the dark side of humanity through her writing. Her stories appear in multiple publications and anthologies and she is the winner to the 2020 AHWA short story competition.

Website: paulineyates.com

It’s Worse the Second Time ‘Round

by C.L. Sidell


We abandoned Will at camp—packed our belongings whilst he sweated hallucinations. The risk of contracting fever was too great.

Three days later, we were shocked to find him waiting for us at the station.

“Jake,” he said with a nod. “Lyle.”

From atop the passenger car, a gigantic snow-white bird released a sonorous cry, an ant-like trail of smoke escaping its beak.

The vapour invaded my nostrils, turned my legs to jelly. Lyle hacked up blood.

“You reap what you sow,” Will declared, boarding the train.

And the creature, emitting a series of caws, flapped its wings and disappeared.

C.L. Sidell

C. L. Sidell is a queer, neurodivergent writer who moderates Pause for Poetry (est. 2012) and Wordsmiths (est. 2015) and also reviews books for the Florida Library Youth Program. Her work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in 34 Orchard, 805 Lit, Dread Machine, opia, Quarantine Quanta, Spark, and others. 

Website: crystalsidell.wixsite.com/mysite

No Lady

by Tracy Davidson


Some call me myth. Others believe. None get my story right.

I’ve lived a thousand lives, in many forms. I’ve waited and watched as humans developed and spread. I’ve loved them. I’ve hated them. Or, rather, hated what they have done to this world. What they still do.

My purpose is to protect. But not them. They have doomed themselves. Left unchecked, they will doom all. Time to stop waiting and watching.

I leave my lake behind. My arms morph into swords, ready to slice through the true monsters of this world.

My name is Excalibur. My legend begins anew.

Tracy Davidson

Tracy Davidson lives in Warwickshire, England, and writes poetry and flash fiction. Her work has appeared in various publications and anthologies, including: Poet’s Market, Mslexia, Atlas Poetica, Modern Haiku, The Binnacle, A Hundred Gourds, Shooter, Journey to Crone, The Great Gatsby Anthology, WAR, In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights.