Raw Honey

December 1, 2017

He draws on the iron claws
forged by the blacksmith,
eats the raw meat and honey
the villagers have brought him,
last of all
pulls on the thick pelt.
Dark smell, earth smell.

Now, you say, he becomes a bear.
Truly a bear, though summerlong
he’s lived among them
learning to hunt and growl,
learning bees and old gods.

What happens next? I ask.
We’re skin and skin,
the night’s around us
as your lips move, storyteller.

Next, you say, he goes into the woods
where the wolf-demon dwells.
The villagers never see him
again, their protector,
but their milk stays uncurdled,
cows’ tails uncut, bones unbroken.
They know he saved them.

But they never speak of him.

Only the witch remembers,
wise-eyes makes an offering
yearly, on the day the bear walked
into the demon woods.
She burns rowan, brings honey
and sweet, sweet berries
for him
who heard the bear king’s last breath,
who killed the demon,
who was man and bear
and asked for nothing.

Silence. I’m crying
as you do, after a story.
We drift to sleep.

I dream of iron claws and honey.

Sara Norja

my china dolls

December 1, 2017

I used to hide my china dolls in a wooden box while I slept, the lid weighed down. I’d still wake to find them next to me. Staring.

Baylea Hart
One Line Horror

weird fiction

December 1, 2017

Duncan Halleck

I didn’t set out to do anything particularly new, but it is true that I am conscious of writing in a tradition that blurs the boundaries between three fantastic genres: supernatural horror, fantasy, and science fiction. I have always been of the opinion that you can’t make firm distinctions between those three.

The writing that I really like is what has been called “weird fiction.” If people ask me what I write, that is the label I give them. The weird fiction axis of people like Lovecraft, Lindsay, Clarke Ashton Smith, and William Hope Hodgson exists at the intersection and you really can’t say that it is horror not fantasy, or fantasy not science fiction, or whatever. It is about an aesthetic of the fantastic; you alienate and shock the reader. That’s what I really like.

China Miéville
Interview with Cheryl Morgan October 2001 for Strange Horizons

When Dennis Wheatley was at prep school in the early 1900s he was convinced he saw a ghost on the staircase one day. In an era when spiritualism was in vogue and Ouija boards were taken seriously it was not unusual for a little boy to be superstitious. The significance of Wheatley’s encounter with an apparition was that it sparked off a lifelong fascination with the occult that spawned a series of bestselling novels with titles such as The Devil Rides Out and To The Devil A Daughter…

Dominic Midgley
Master of the Macabre
Daily Express 18th October 2013

Robots to staff Brothels

December 1, 2017

Spanish scientist Sergi Santos designed silicone sex dolls with wigs and artificial brains that will not only earn him money but may also be used to staff brothels and help combat sex trafficking.

But the arrival of sex robots has divided opinion – this film by the Thomson Reuters Foundation explores the complex issues that have been raised by the increasingly life-like robots.