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.

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.

If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love

If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love

If you were a dinosaur, my love, then you would be a T-Rex. You’d be a small one, only five feet, ten inches, the same height as human-you. You’d be fragile-boned and you’d walk with as delicate and polite a gait as you could manage on massive talons. Your eyes would gaze gently from beneath your bony brow-ridge.

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.