Home » Archives for Rachel Swirsky

Rachel Swirsky

Rachel Swirsky holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop and graduated from Clarion West in 2005. Her short fiction has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Tor.com, Clarkesworld, and Subterranean Magazine, and been nominated for a number of awards, including the Hugo Award, the Locus Award, and the World Fantasy Award. In 2010, her novella The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window won the Nebula Award. As a kid, she watched too much Fairy Tale Theatre and memorized the score to Sondheim’s Into the Woods.
Wake Up, I Miss You

Wake Up, I Miss You

The noise wakes the trees outside the hospital window. They stretch and shake out their leaves. A dislodged sparrow turns toward me and gapes open its beak. It squawks “beep beep beep” and I realize it’s been doing that the whole time. There are other noises, too—a distant, distorted voice like a conductor shouting into a bad mic—are we near a train station?

All That Fairy Tale Crap

I was supposed to go to the ball, but I spent the night licking out my stepsister instead.

Bethesda moaned and rustled mulberry silk high up her thighs. “There, there, no, faster, come on, faster, please…”

The friendly mice put out their eyes and ran out in trios to join a different fairy tale.

Abomination Rises on Filthy Wings

My cock is throbbing so I pull it out.

My wife lolls in front of the TV, spread out on the sofa, eyes glazed and mouth open, illuminated by flickering light. Her empty–eyed stare is so vacuous that it looks like she could have died there, stuffing her brain with the shopping channel.

Thirteen

Jacob’s wife is always screaming: Cheat! Scoundrel! Layabout! Scrooge!
Jacob takes solace in the mausoleum. Girls there are quiet.

Decomposition

New Year’s celebrations crashed through the streets of Whitcry in a din of masks and swirling petticoats. Pottery smashed against cobbles, women’s shouts echoed from garrets, men groaned and fought and pissed.