, we at MYTHOLOG
are sure to bring you fiction and poetry, with fine illustrations, that track down the mythological wherever it may be found. 13 seems to be our number: As with last issue, we've thirteen stories and poems, some by new writers and some by ones we've been proud to come to know. In issue #3, we go down the yellow brick road, through the gate, into the suburbs, under the shadow of the great mountain, stop at the supermarket for some body parts, visit the cave of the hermit, and inquire at the junkyard outside of town (home of our automotive dead). If that's not enough, we've found what we are told is the path to Hell. But first, we'll go to the beach, the castle, the attic, the "woodland wilds", and perhaps the astral plane. You're walking that age-old border between the Forest and the town, the Mountain and the plain... If you fall through the cracks, you're probably on the right track. So go ahead, pick a place to start...
Few authors dare to write in the second person singular, and fewer still can pull it off. When one does, it can be thoroughly sensuous. Mary Pat Mann's
dreamy prose poem is more than an exemplar of the style. You won't want to wake up from this one...
This poem by Kelly Searsmith
leaves one looking up or looking down; it depends on who is reading.
Mapmakers once sped explorers to the edges of reality with maps that said "here be dragons" in the white spaces beyond the known regions of the world. In her short fiction, Jo Anne Mallinson
slows time and walks us down the middle of a well-beaten path to where we hardly expect to find dragons -- modern suburbia. Bring an umbrella...
You may not be familiar with the hagiography of Saint Onuphrius the Great, though there are churches dedicated to him and ikons for his veneration.
St. Onuphrius was clothed in nothing but a loincloth of leaves and in his very long hair, and he ate from a solitary fig tree. When Abbot St. Paphnutius visited his desert cell, he was initially frightened, since the hermit looked to his eyes like a wild beast. St. Papnutius, wanting to know if he (like the desert saint) should leave the monastery and pursue the eremetical life, stayed the night in the hairy man's cave. The next morning, the holy man told the Abbot that he had really been sent to bury him. When St. Onuphrius 'fell asleep', St. Paphnutius bured him in the cave. The cave was then swallowed up by the mountain, and the fig tree withered. So St. Paphnutius understood that he should return to his monastery to encourage all to venerate St. Onuphrius.
Now you know the received version of events, but Eric N. Peterson
has a very different story to tell. It may be a little shocking; perhaps a little racy. Frankly, we found it novel and fascinating...
We can erect great cities and build monuments to human ingenuity, but so often they still exist in the path of the tsunami, in range of the volcano, on the edge of the dark forest, or in the shadow of the great mountain. This short story by Liesl Jobson
wonders if perhaps our fairy tales are born from this dwelling in the borderlands. If you happen to think of San-shin (Korean spirit of the mountain), and perhaps Arthur Conan Doyle, when reading Jobson's tale, you'd be in the smiling company of his editors.
We all know that "Children say the darndest things." Perhaps they say the darkest
things. Kasie Catt
closes the covers on Maslow and Piaget and wonders, (like Chomsky), if children might be speaking a deeper grammar, a more subtle syntax, something perhaps even a little monstrous...
You'll want to read Kimberlee Sweeney Rettberg's
brilliantly set story, but you could also end up looking at the picture (also by this mixed-media artist) for some time. It, like the story, is the stage for something terrible.
Through a circuitous process of sanitation, we have 'cleaned up' our fairy tales and their protagonists -- made their growls precious where they had been low and insinuating, neutered their appetites, and taught them to walk more or less "upright". Elizabeth Barrette
, author of this poem, wants something of the original stubble even if it causes a scratch or two.
When you feel under-appreciated... when you start to fade from living too long in the shadow of others... what insignia do you wear -- what badge says 'I too am here.'? Maria Cecile's
poem asks this question, and lets you decide what answer to wear.
When you give your heart, does it long for the place in your chest? Christie Maurer
asks this question in her not-so-usual story of Knights, Dragons, and Maidens in Distress.
, a gunslinger of flash fiction, doesn't hesitate to make us uncomfortable. That's "blurb-speak" for 'she wrote a piece that worms its way down deep, wraps itself around some vital organ, and then gives an inner shove'.
Have you ever pretended to admire a painting that you thought looked like hell? Well, perhaps it's all right to just be honest about it. In this short story, J.R. Cain
paints us into a nexus of two worlds, and waves at us from beyond his brush...
Where we believe in mortality, children believe in magic. This piece by Jamieson Wolf Villeneuve
will bring the child in you out of the closet (along w. the darker skeletons). It is like those therapeudic ghost stories we once told with our mouths full of smores around a bonfire at camp. And at Mytholog, we have a recipe for making any time camp or Halloween: press a hot marhmallow and a piece of chocolate between two graham crackers, and chew slowly as Wolf tells you one of his stories.
Artists Kimberlee Rettberg
, Amanda Burkinshaw
, and Mike "Warble" Finucane
have each brought their own unique styles with thoughtful contributions to the stories and poems in this issue. The work of illustration is a kind of discipline -- one recapitulates the author's work and adds a distinct impression and expression alongside it. If you would like to contribute illustrations too, feel free to drop us a line.
We'd enjoy any traveller's
you'd care to send us from the bounds.
is coming September 1st. Writers
and illustrators, we want you. Check out our
for details. Don't forget, we're running
As always, thanks for reading. -- Asher Black