Wednesday 9 October 2013


The crows speak prophecy and their words turn to blood. The leaves below them are rust-stained and heavy with lexical gore, they fall, flood the forest floor a sea of red-brown.

Ragged humans pick through the bones of civilisation, a manifestation of rot, consuming their host. Consuming themselves.

The crows were harbingers, heralds, now wardens of the end.

The dying sun throbs large in the sky, bulbous and hot – a one-eyed demon intent on a corpse world.

Flames catch, the whole Earth burns once more and for the final time. Raucous crows rise on wings of flame, a clamorous pyre.

The last of my drabbles that didn't make the September issue of 101 Fiction. And this was my second favourite, the closest to beating Seasons into the issue. I love some of the imagery in this. Particularly the penultimate paragraph, and the lexical gore...

And so October comes and we approach submissions for the December issue (October 15th to November 15th).

The themes will be 'winter' and/or 'undead'. The first four issues will be themed by season and then some sort of mythical element. We had phoenix for the rebirth, and I think winter is the perfect season for the undead. Cold, unforgiving, and preferably outside, while you are inside bathing in the warmth of wood fires and human kindness...

Of course, humans can be cold, and spirits may be warmer in their remembrance of a life lost, and love left behind. I hope I'll get a few classics - zombies, hauntings, corpses risen from the grave - but in the spirit of the best of 101 Fiction, I hope we'll get something unusual too, some unfamiliar twist or unusual application of necromantic powers.

Stories could also be themed on winter alone, but like I say, the two themes are not entirely dissimilar, and I think they will sit well together, if not entirely comfortably... after all, the undead are restless bedfellows...

1 comment:

  1. Dear John,
    a Polish translation of "Pyre" has been posted on The Literary Stroller:

    with best wishes,