Garden Ice I was alone when the cold began. Ice fell onto the gar-den like rain, only it was a pale green, so pale you had to look carefully or it would be invisible. Everywhere it fell the world turned...
I. An expedition More scientists than sirens, the mermaids gather specimens with the stalking skill of anglerfish. They catalogue all evidence in an abyssopelagic lab, sterile in the steam from deep sea vents. Tube-worms witness their collections grow and inquiries unfold: how cloth and air might...
As twilight touched the snowy, wooded landscape, the little girl saw her worried mother standing on the front porch of the tiny cottage and knew she was probably in trouble. The girl hid her frozen hands deep in her...

The Snow Bride

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Illustration by Gina Schiappacasse   Once upon a time... not too long ago. A brother and his twin sister walked in the woods near their house in the suburbs. It was a very cold night. The dirt path led them to...
She scrambled up the bank of the wash and ran across a dirt yard, right up to the front door of the witch’s house. Looking back again, she saw that the gangbangers had stopped at the edge of the property....
Father loved me better than my sisters. That sounds desirable, yes? To be best loved, to be the one desired? The dresses he gave me were golden as the sun, luminescent as the moon, bright as the stars. They weighed more...
In the land of the Sand Riders, where women go veiled from top to toe, there lived a young man who dreamed of love. But he was too young to think of marriage, and according to the customs of...
Photography by Katerina Plotnikova There are souls whose hearts beat out an unkept rhythm that can’t help but keep them on the margins of our ordinary world. She was one of those wild souls—the young lady in the park who...

Clockwork Princess

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Feature Illustration by Charles Vess Article From 2014 Spring Issue #26 Subscribe // Print // Digital Once, there was a clockwork princess who lived in a land of forgotten things. The King of this land had long since been forgotten, as had the circumstances of the...
Written and Illustrated By Charles Vess   Come closer and listen well, for I have a tale to tell. For far longer than even I can remember Father Christmas has always lived in his warm, sprawling house set close by a...