Unfading Daydream Literary Magazine
A Terrible Beauty by Paula Cappa, Thursday, November 14, 2019
I am happy to announce that my newest short story, A Terrible Beauty is now published at Unfading Daydream, a literary magazine founded by LL Lemke and Adelei Wade. They have been successfully publishing speculative fiction since 2017.
The October 2019 issue’s theme is possession. Twelve short stories in this edition bring you into worlds of ghosts, ouija board, psychic phenomenon, enchanting princess, and more.
In A Terrible Beauty, you will discover the power of quartz crystals, a young man Charlie Crowe, an entity known as Datan, and the endearing Li’l Clare.
Here is a peek.
The trap opened at sundown. Inside of a great, clear crystal swirled the presence of a bat. No; I call it a bat, but this was no flying rodent in any earthly sense. It only appeared bat-like. What I immediately learned was that this odd presence claimed she could eat men like air.
Being an ordinary man, I shuddered.
I say she, although I was not at all certain of the gender, because something about the curves and cleaves, the quivering grooves of the grim shape, reminded me of a woman. My experiences with women were quite limited in my rather over-protected twenty-one years of life, but I remained an admirer of the starlet Marilyn Monroe, and who could better exemplify a model for feminine cleaves and curves?
When I asked this presence how she could do this—eat men, that is—she released these thoughts into my head:
“I tap the temples, neatly plucking a section of brain matter, seizing the shafts of lightning therein, and absorbing the essence of the man like a sponge into my crystal. Then I plant the human head into an ice gulch and let it vegetate like a cabbage.”
I recalled pulling my cap lower around my ears as her thought—actually a thought-noose—nearly made me cry out.
Speculative fiction is a genre speculating about worlds that are unlike the real world but in very important ways. These stories explore the human condition. The term was coined by science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein in 1948. This genre includes unproven theories, ‘what if …?’ scenarios, fantastic elements, action hinged to the realm of science fiction and to horror. It’s for readers who want to believe in the impossible and the unknown. In these stories, the sky is not the limit.
Isaac Asimov’s Nightfall is probably one of the most popular speculative fiction short stories. And of course the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.
What I love about speculative fiction is that you are in the real world but you are not in the real world. A Terrible Beauty brings you into that space between reality and unreality. As a writer, this can be really challenging because the story, characters, action must be totally convincing and carry a deep sense of suspense. This is a story about what could be, not what is. My readers here of Greylock, A Dazzling Darkness, and Night Sea Journey, as well as my other short stories, are familiar with such imaginary realms of the supernatural.
You can purchase the magazine here on Amazon.com Unfading Daydream Issue Possession October:
Are you a speculative fiction fan? What are your favorite authors or stories? Please post a comment! And if you do read A Terrible Beauty, I’d love to hear your feedback.
Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, and mainstream fiction.
Follow or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month. Comments are welcome! Feel free to click “LIKE.”