Model: Love Chappelle


An errand of mercy, a basket of love. Only the best of intentions are paving this path.

But girls have been lost here before. Sweet girls, frivolous girls. Girls she has played with, spun with, traded tales with. They were swallowed in the shadows of trees; they fell asleep among bluebells and vines.

She wears her scarlet so she will be seen. No one has ever been lost in red velvet.

But this path is not straight. These woods are not still.
It has been too long since she last walked this way. When she looks behind her, she watches her footprints disappear as a wind stirs the dust. Grass grows fast over her traces.

Then comes a call in the distance … She has been seen.

Her flesh stirs in answer. Her skin prickles. Her teeth and her eyes and her ears—

Why fear the wolf when you can become it?

The house sits just up ahead.

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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.”