Reptilia

“Her tongue hasn’t always been this way. She’s pretty sure it was round and pink and human-like when she was born. It’s taken a steady diet of coffee and swear words to get her to this point, but now it’s unavoidable.” Ruth Crossman returns to The Fabulist with this chilling little fragment about the changes wrought by our bitterness.

The Underground Manifesto

Carla Myers, an award-winning author of fantastical and flash fiction, brings us this loopy, lyrical tale of verbivorous squirrels and their habit of snatching sentences out of the air and burying them for the winter.

Consciousness

“Consciousness,” by Ceridwen Hall, examines the self through the rearview mirror of Philip K. Dick’s sedan. Who’s driving? And who are the passengers? And where are we going, anyway? Is that a signpost up ahead, or just a mirage on the highway?

The Shoes

Don’t be fooled by its breezy, almost blase tone. Ruth Crossman’s subversive inversion of the Cinderella fairy tale, “The Shoes,” is a small-scale tragedy of disturbing power and contemporary relevance.

Gustavo and Emiline

A perfect romance or a claustrophobic prison sentence? Elizabeth Stix brings the inarticulate paralysis and stifling compromise of a suffocating relationship to lurid life in her reality-warping short tale “Gustavo and Emiline.”

On the Beginnings of a Universe

The all-powerful child is a memorable and chilling figure in weird fiction — from the original Star Trek’s “Charlie X” to the Twilight Zone-adaptation of Jerome Bixby’s “It’s a Good Life.” Oakland writer Laur A. Freymiller updates the trope for the #MeToo era in this striking narrative of abuse, confrontation, and literal erasure.