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Blood Magic

The sand was dry and loose, still warm with the lingering heat of the day.  Nora stole across the darkened beach, a large wicker basket clutched beneath one arm. Beside an outcropping of rock near the water’s edge, she stopped, lowering her bundle and pulling an oilskin bag from across her back. She glanced furtively […]


Lipstick for Villains

It takes a witch to make a queen’s lipstick. Hogfat, crushed ants, frozen embers, lead. Good lipsticks should burn. I, who had mixed oil and beetles and chilis into pastes and powders, had seen good people incinerated by those ocher smiles. The Queen of Algae and Urchin had asked that I squash rebellion with face […]


Silver and Shadow, Spruce and Pine

When Grandmother disappears from the nursing home, Marika is the only one who understands what’s happened. The family and staff, they wonder how and why a 96-year-old woman could walk out of her room unnoticed and disappear in the middle of the night. They whisper about dementia and Alzheimer’s. They make phone calls to the […]



The house is derelict and crumbling now. Its sugar-pane windows stare blindly through the cataracts of cobwebs, and damp patches blossom like liver spots across its gingerbread gables. But Hansel’s hand still trembles as he pushes open the twice-cooked door, which wobbles like a rotten tooth in its warped candy-cane frame. The last time he […]


We Are the Moor

We are one and we are many. We are shrubby willow and cotton-grass; we are moss and heather. All we need is this peaceful state of being. Enjoy the sun, listen to the birds, drink the mist. But there’s a new voice among us, and she won’t let us rest. Night and day, she whispers […]


Love and Assimilation

I ooze down Conroy Avenue and into the kitchen window of Condo Thirteen. Then I congeal on the sandy tile behind Kelley, who’s dressed in a pineapple-printed robe, seep into the fridge, and glance through the ice port. Her dimpled arms jiggle as she scrubs scum from a steaming dish. “Don’t remind me, girl. It […]


Meet Me In Okhotsk

Mary dangles, letting seawater leap over her boots. She’d happily hang here forever, where the ocean and the stars touch. A tangle of fishing net and kelp flops onto her foot and carries on falling, dragging her leg downwards. Tutting, she wriggles, but the net’s stuck fast, and in the end she has to use […]


Widdershins Mine

There is only one magic: the ritual of possession. Did my mother teach me this? Did it spring from insecurity and need? I just knew, though only four years old. I started small, with my neighbour’s cow. The beast blinked at me as I stumbled round it through dew-spangled grass. Once round, twice, three times […]



The day after Kieran left, his favorite mug left, too. Rose had brought it home from the thrift store four years ago, but over time it had shifted loyalties, become Kieran’s. She watched it float down from the cupboard and rattle over to the open window, helpless to stop it. She’d already tried with Kieran, […]


The Eye Eaters

When we find the old fruit seller sprawled on his back, face a livid gray, I’m all for following the proper rituals. But Ituani wants to eat his eyes. “That’s disgusting,” I say. Ituani has been my best friend since forever; her grandmother half-raised me while working for my father. But sometimes she says things […]


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