Featured Image: The Nightmare (1790−1791) by Henry Fuseli


• You appreciate the beauty in time’s passing, whether it shows in a bare winter branch, a crumbling cathedral, or the lines forming on a friend’s hands.

• You love to wear lace.

• You know that when a good-looking stranger appears in a cape at your bedroom door or window, you must not invite that person inside. Not right away, at least.

• You are cautious about opening cellar doors, tower windows, and antique cabinet desks.

• You have a secret nobody knows, not even your closest friend.

• You keep a journal—perhaps not every day—and somewhere in your closet sits a box of handwritten letters.

• You are tempted to shed your clothes and stand in the light of a stained-glass window, watching the colors play over your skin.

• You have fallen in love with someone mysterious and brooding—and you have learned to put yourself first in the breakup.

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Susann Cokal is the author of four novels, including the award-winning Kingdom of Little Wounds and her latest, Mermaid Moon, in which a mermaid goes ashore to find her mother, only to fall into the clutches of a witch who wants to harvest her magic. Cokal also writes short fiction and essays about oddities, and she lives in a haunted farmhouse with cats, peacocks, spouse, and unseen beings who bump in the night. “I’ve always suspected there was more to mermaids than the shipwrecks and love stories that lead them to land,” she says. “I’m glad I had the chance to figure them out in these changing times—both in the novel and here among the creatures of Enchanted Living.”