Hello! As you know (or maybe you don’t) our Issue 20 was released December 9th. In case you didn’t get a chance to pick up your copy yet (or if you picked it up but haven’t read through it yet) here’s a chance to read a snippet! We hope you enjoy 🙂
“Crow” Adeoti Fashokun
Far up in the spaces the public keeps a secret, idle witches sit. Stoking the fire and haggling over burnt pieces of copper cut like demented teeth. They are the landlords of the monastery in our abode. Sorcerers are scarce because they lack wit. So, with the witches, we will make do. Ten tenants toe the troubling terrain. Cinched dimples. A file. A mile long. Down the aisle of the Nile, ten tenants saunter. It riles the vilest of the witches-Abigail. She laughs. It sounds like the cranking engine of a car. We refer to it as thunder. Then she smiles. Her skin looks like stretched elastic bands. Then water spills from the sky. We believe it is good fortune and the will of providence. But Abigail directs it to our cages and ten of us drown.
When frogs chuckle and turtles hiccup their disdain, we nod ferociously. Hannah drops down dried dates. She is the most pleasant of them all when she’s unenvious. We inhale and sing her praises as she dances and insects spout from her red cloak scratching the metal. We eat them too. Birds have wings, we have cages. The guards have storehouses. On fortunate days, we listen to the story of the single toothed guard who lives in a boat. He says he can drink as much water as he wants. Can you imagine? He gets two cups a day! I wonder is there’s a devil in the details or an angel in the embroidery. Because in preceding years, silence was far from mind. Our greatest worries were background singers, corrupt winds, and desperate audiences.
Father tells of a time when sorcerers were on their best behavior. When they used to amuse the people. He never tells us the aftermath; he says it’s a blemish. All he says is danger struck at dawn. He says we can leave only if we are reborn. Sister cautions him and tells him she can hear Abigail staring. But I hear her snoring. Hannah is busy spurning the treads of repression. We will get a beating for whispering. I ask father how and he whispers. He’s telling me to scream. I ask for something stronger. He replies whistle. But I don’t. I’m reborn. I crow.