Burn It Down

Author: Chloe Liz Content Warnings: Bullying, Violence, Themes of SA, Homophobia Tarot Cards: The Star, Justice, The Fool Edith hated parties. They made her skin crawl. All the false smiles and glass eyes that distracted from social daggers in the back… Listen to me. I sound like my Gothic Lit professor. Ugh. There were a dozen students here, all from the small literature department at Felton University. They held an end-of-year retreat in the rainy mountains of Washington every year. They’d been up here all weekend – no technology, no internet. Just writing and nature, communing with the spirits of scholars of the past, and “making life-long friends.” That’s what the retreat flyer had promised, anyway. Edith had, so far, only managed the writing part. Alone. She wasn’t sure she’d actually pass the class. Professor Mullin had called her into his office last week and ushered her to the overstuffed velvet couch, clucking questions about how she was doing “with

read more Burn It Down

The Abandoned Gods

Author: Jack Kirk Content Warnings: Religion, Violence Tarot Cards: The Fool, Justice, The Moon “Breathe in… Breathe out…”  I sat on the ground in my favorite grotto, meditating. I had been pacing my breath for most of the morning. It wasn’t difficult anymore, but I always practiced the basics.  “Today is the day,” a familiar voice said from behind me. I had been alone all morning, but didn’t jump at the sudden interruption.  “You can stop trying to startle me. It’s not going to work,” I responded, not moving a muscle.  “I know. I wasn’t.” I could feel Victor’s eyes on me. “How do you feel?” “Fine,” I replied. “No nerves?”  “None, whatsoever.” I stood up and started stretching. “I feel great, actually. Everything feels so easy, like I’m perfectly in tune with my body!” I said, a little too loudly. “I’m definitely ready. Just wait, once the trial begins tonight I’ll be the fastest one to finish it!” Victor

read more The Abandoned Gods

The Devil & The Fool

Author: L. E. Boxley Content Warnings: death, murder, substance abuse, coercion, nudity, blood, mention of an orgy Tarot Cards: The Devil, The Fool The sun was high and hot the day the Fool left his village. The residents of the busy borough waved their farewells to the young man as he passed – at least, he assumed they did. Most of them, engaged in their work or errands, were making gestures of dismissal and waves of “good-riddance.” But the boy waved back earnestly at each acknowledgement, shouting well wishes to the many people who had known him from his birth. In his bright, embroidered tunic and fitted stockings, he looked less like the native working class and more like one of the visitors that came through the village to peruse their finely crafted papers and textiles. He carried a knapsack over his shoulder and wore a jaunty green cap of braided silk with a large red feather that bobbed as

read more The Devil & The Fool

Variations on the Theme of Adelaide Vaughn

Author: Alexis Ames Content Warnings: Memory loss, hubris. Tarot Cards: Temperance, The Fool Addy flexes the muscles of her magic as she waits for the judges to call her name.  She summons it from deep within her core, lets it simmer under her skin, then pushes it down again. Summon, simmer, banish, repeat. It’s a reflex, a comfort, a reminder that her magic hasn’t deserted her. Her greatest fear, ever since magic first manifested within her, is that one day she will wake up and it will be gone.  Summon, simmer, banish, repeat. “Adelaide Vaughn,” someone calls, and she steps out of the shadows and into the light. Addy had long ago learned to wear flat, soft-soled shoes to auditions. She crosses the stage as silent as any man, without the tell-tale click of heels to give her away. She stops behind the black curtain that separates her from the judges, her eyes tracking a mote of dust while she

read more Variations on the Theme of Adelaide Vaughn

Duty Bound

Author: Lloyd McKenzie Content Warnings: Violence, police brutality Tarot Cards: Justice, The Lovers “Are you awake?” I felt my breath catch. Of course I was awake. Every morning, I now awoke before the sun without fail, waiting to see if the mystery had finally concluded and her voice would no longer echo in my head. And every morning, for the past six months, her voice broke the quiet of the pre-dawn gloom and my heart would pound against my chest in response. The mental connection felt instinctively familiar, even if I had no clue how to truly explain it. But with just a slight flex of a mental muscle, I could open my mind to her.  “Indeed I am.” I responded, hoping my nervousness didn’t leak through. “Are you still traveling?” “Yes, although my carriage should be arriving today, finally.” She heaved a dramatic sigh, “I’ll be so happy to sleep in a proper bed tonight.” “And your carriage is

read more Duty Bound