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The Wraithwood Ritual
by Paul Edward Costa

ONDERNEATH the midday sun, three children waited for the Preacher at the furthest limits of Secondary Source. Soon he would come dancing over the rolling horizon in his white hood and cloak, hunched over in his robes, his arms raised in the shape of a Y, his bent legs prancing nimbly beneath him. He would come holding an iron staff and wearing a rainbow mask.
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Eaten By Wolves by Holly Grace

You are gone to the outdoor toilet, slots cut in the wooden platform where you hunker down; insides pour out uninhibited—stream, steam, dogs bark and donkeys bray. I roll over in bed, look for the torch. Did you take it, did you really go outside? I thought you went. Ten minutes pass. Usually you're back by now.

Shadow Dancer by Janetta R. Lower

Come on in. I can see you're cold. Come closer to the fire. Doesn't it smell good? The cedar burns clean and righteous and its sharp pungency make you feel holy, safe and simple inside our circle, doesn't it? Go ahead. Relax. Stretch your fingers and mind over its warmth as my words pull you closer to its heat. Don't mind the winter storm outside. I know you hear its gritty blasts protesting against our stained glass windows but you're safe by our fire. Western winds howl above our heads and seep into our chimney cracks, sending a chilly whisper across your neck and a delicious shiver down your spine. Your pulse thrills as shadows gather in the far corner of our room and an inky jet of blood stains your cheeks with roses. Please don't worry. You're safe inside our circle; with me, there is nothing to fear. Your first time is my best time to latch rhythm with the right line. But tonight, I won't tell you about the first time, nor scare you with the worst time—when, lurching pale and blue—no, wait. I'll hold that terrible true and share this tale with you:

“...you don't tug on Superman's cape
you don't spit into the wind...”
by Floyd Longworth

Once upon a time in the eighties there was a bar just south of Public Square on Ontario called the London (now a parking lot). Bands touring and staying at Stouffer's (also no longer there) would hang out and drink in the working class bar. One morning after a night of getting smashed, on my way home I decided to stop at the London for an eyeopener. As I was walking across Ontario, the door to the London flew open and into the Gray Clevo [1] morn stalked Johnny Rotten. It was during his Peacock colored dreads period and he was on tour with Public Image Ltd. Drunk and giddy with excitement, I pointed directly at him and said the first thing that came to mind: "Johnny Rotten!" I exclaimed. "It's Lydon," he sneered back at me. Ever the drunken, quick witted guy, I retorted: "Johnny Lydon!" "It's Rotten," he shot back passing me by as he made his way across Ontario to Stouffer's.

Your Penis by Clare Bowden

If you popped a pair of glasses and a Groucho moustache on it, you could have your own street performance set. People would flock from miles away, maybe even from distant shores. You could be a minor celebrity and appear in Dazed and Confused. They'd do you up with matte make-up and you could say things like “I feel that art and love are interconnected concepts. Both allow you to carve out tiny shells in which we can make our homes,” and punch yourself in the face afterwards, descend into self-loathing, develop a problem with alcohol, appear in the National Enquirer under a gaudy headline and realise that you'd been mutated by the pressure of celebrity. Emboldened, you'd move to England to make a new life for yourself. You'd appear in a documentary twenty years down the line about celebrities who suddenly disappeared and make a reference to me that would get on my nerves.