‘Forests have secrets,’ he said gently. ‘It’s practically what they’re for. To hide things. To separate one from another.’

Catherynne M. Valente
Deathless

serves up my heart

March 22, 2020

She walks into my life legs first, a long drink of water in the desert of my thirties. Her shoes are red; her eyes are green. She’s an Italian flag in occupied territory, and I fall for her like Paris. She mixes my metaphors like a martini and serves up my heart tartare. They all do. Every time. They have to. It’s that kind of story.

Catherynne M. Valente
The Bread We Eat in Dreams

the seven psalms of hell

February 13, 2020

The demon arrived before the town. She fell out of a red oak in the primeval forest that would eventually turn into Schism Street and Memorial Square into a white howl of snow and frozen sea-spray. She was naked, her body branded with four-spoked seals, wheels of banishment, and the seven psalms of hell. Her hair burnt off and she had no fingernails or toenails. The hair grew back — black, naturally — and the 16th century offered a range of options for completely covering female skin from chin to heel, black-burnt with the diamond trident-brand of Amdusias or not.

Catherynne M. Valente
The Bread We Eat in Dreams

a wolf for you

January 26, 2020

I could be a wolf for you. I could put my teeth on your throat. I could growl. I could eat you whole. I could wait for you in the dark. I could howl against your hair.

Catherynne M. Valente
The Red Girl

beautiful women are bad

January 2, 2020

A farmer wants his son to be afraid of beautiful women, so that he will not leave home too soon, so he tells a story about how one drowned his brother’s cousin’s friend in a lake, not because he was a pig who deserved to be drowned, but because beautiful women are bad, and also witches. And it doesn’t matter that she didn’t ask to be beautiful, or to be born in a lake, or to live forever, or to not know how men breathe until they stop doing it.

Catherynne M. Valente
Deathless

Encounter with darkness

August 17, 2019

“Who are you?“

“I am Death,” said the creature. “I thought that was obvious.”

“But you’re so small!”

“Only because you are small. You are young and far from your Death, September, so I seem as anything would seem if you saw it from a long way off-very small, very harmless. But I am always closer than I appear. As you grow, I shall grow with you, until at the end, I shall loom huge and dark over your bed, and you will shut your eyes so as not to see me.”

Catherynne M. Valente
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

MAGIC

July 20, 2019

Magic is just a word for what’s left to the powerless once everyone else has eaten their fill.

Catherynne M. Valente
Six-Gun Snow White

red, red heart

March 31, 2019

Maybe it’s not a lesson so much as it’s a magic trick. You can make a little girl into anything if you say the right words. Take her apart until all that’s left is her red, red heart thumping against the world. Stitch her up again real good. Now, maybe you get a woman. If you’re lucky. If that’s what you were after. Just as easy to end up with a blackbird or a circus bear or a coyote. Or a parrot, just saying what’s said to you, doing what’s done to you, copying until it comes so natural that even when you’re all alone you keep on cawing hello pretty bird at the dark. 


Catherynne M. Valente,   


Six-Gun Snow White

Love

March 19, 2019

When I fed the pigs and two of them got to scrapping over an old soft onion, I thought: that’s love. Love is eating. Love is a snarling pig snout and long tusks. Love is the colour of blood. Love is what grown folk do to each other because the law frowns on killing.

Catherynne M. Valente
Six Gun Snow White

I’m dead. I’m the deadest girl in Deadtown. It’s been a while now. I’m comfortable with the word. You wouldn’t believe how comfortable the dead can get. We don’t tiptoe.

Dead. Dead. Dead. Flying Ace of the Corpse Corps. Stepping the light Deathtastic. I don’t actually know what a doornail is, but we have a lot in common.

Catherynne M. Valente
The Refrigerator Monologues