I. An expedition More scientists than sirens, the mermaids gather specimens with the stalking skill of anglerfish. They catalogue all evidence in an abyssopelagic lab, sterile in the steam from deep sea vents. Tube-worms witness their collections grow and inquiries unfold: how cloth and air might...
Garden Ice I was alone when the cold began. Ice fell onto the gar-den like rain, only it was a pale green, so pale you had to look carefully or it would be invisible. Everywhere it fell the world turned...
In the land of the Sand Riders, where women go veiled from top to toe, there lived a young man who dreamed of love. But he was too young to think of marriage, and according to the customs of...
Children! To perform this nifty trick, ask your mother for a shelled-out lemon, balled-up handkerchiefs, a vial of perfume, fire, and a pistol. “I have written this work,” writes Professor Henri Garenne, in his introduction to the 1886 edition...
  In her first memory of this life, she clutched two pecans in her small hands. Warm brown with tabby cat black stripes, dry and cool to the touch. She might have gathered an empty husk, too, its edges curled as...
Every time my writing gets stuck, I ask myself, “How would Scheherazade get out of this?” Of course, she would know what to do. That’s how she survived for 1,001 nights and beyond: by knowing when to add to a...
This is the way she knew he was gone: The door was open. His boots were missing. The cage where he kept a hawk was empty. He’d never said a word. The night before he went missing he’d gathered the...
Written and Illustrated by Charles Vess From Issue #29 - digital // print Come closer and listen well, for I have a tale to tell. For far longer than even I can remember Father Christmas has always lived in his warm, sprawling...

The Holly King

Illustration by Guinevere von Sneeden Wassail, drink hail to the sleeping trees blanketed in a white cloak of snow, under the dark of night. Leave the warmth of the fire and sing to them through the dark of winter, promising that spring...
By Alice Hoffman Illustration by Charles Vess Article from the Autumn Issue #40 - Subscribe or Buy Issue The most glorious hour in Manhattan was when twilight fell in sheets across the Great Lawn. Bands of blue turned darker by the moment as...