I have a new story out in the new Strange Horizons issue! Undog is my own version of a haunted house by a dog that might not be quite alive or quite dead anymore.

This is my third appearance in the magazine and I am both super excited and sort of starting to see a pattern in the stories I publish there. It definitely feels like they get my more personal/intergenerational trauma/body horror stories of about 2k words. If that’s not a niche then I don’t know what is!

I have written ghost stories in the past but then something happened and I stopped going there. My themes changed slightly with time. So this feels like a nice return to something homey (pun intended) and familiar.

My initial inspiration was this microfiction by Lydia Davis called “Dog Hair” which absolutely GUTTED me. And not just because I am a mom to a sweet (and at times demonic) cocker spaniel. It was this sense of absence that fills every place where once someone we loved had been. Sometimes you can be brave for the worst stuff and then you go to familiar places and just face the emptiness and that’s all you need to fall apart. It’s a thought I am having a lot lately and might breed more art in the future.

My secret intention was to write a sequel to “Dog Hair”. If not a happy one, at least a creepy and heartwarming one. And pair the undog with someone equally broken. Someone who might have also felt unwanted, like the poor ghoul doggo of the story.

I keep thinking if that’s my dog in the walls—the dog I was meant to have—maybe there’s also another family. A broken, misshapen family full of open wounds stumbling around in the gaps, looking for me.

If you are the type of person who likes good unbois and wants to see them happy in this life or the next, this is a story for you. I hope this one helps you heal from old wounds. ❤


A 12-year old girl in the water with octopus tentacles and the shadow of a little fish across her face.
Salt Water by J Yang

Aaaaaahhhhhh! My first ever story with Tordotcom is out! Is this real life? “Salt Water” with this gorgeous art that you see everywhere on this post! It was made just for “Salt Water” by the amazing J Yang! Many many thanks to Jonathan Strahan who acquired and edited this little mermaid story.

The description on the website goes like this: While all her friends’ fish are changing into mermaids, is 12-year-old Anissa’s fish becoming something else?

But because body horror is my bread and butter, my description would be: Fish live inside children’s bodies and they change into mermaids once the children hit puberty. But many times they don’t…

The story is one of the weirdest and most tender stories I have written. I decided to write something with mermaids and, yes, the Little Mermaid kept popping into my head. I wanted to probe and pull at some of the threads of that original story, some of the themes and motifs. For example Little Mermaid trying to find the meaning of life in her own ways. Her body changing as she grows into a woman and then changing again when she gets her feet and loses her voice and gets terrible pains when she walks and then again when she turns into foam. Then the society of the mermaids and how it would really work. And then of course the dreaded Sea Witch, lonely and mysterious…but maybe for a reason? What if the Sea Witch could give the girl a voice instead of taking it?

As body horror felt unavoidable when it came to The Little Mermaid, my idea fluctuated between making the mermaids gigantic or really tiny. Another thing I wanted to do was to make this a modern-day world, one where people go around having our own problems and become trapped in the same social hierarchies and conformities we are trapped in….except they also carry mermaids inside of them. And maybe that influences the way the society works as well.

An octopus is a thing made for the darkness of the ocean, Anissa’s mother says. It lives in the deepest deeps of the sea, hidden. Waiting to devour anything that enters its territory. Whoever has an octopus is selfish and antisocial. One of her mother’s childhood friends was an octopus. Her name is Ekaterina, and rumors say she has done much worse than be antisocial. Her mom purses her mouth shut as if she is offended by the mere memory of her unfriendliness.

What this ended up being was a story about the terror of adolescence: becoming different and wanting to stay the same, the anxiety of the parents and their own trauma that they can pass on, and societal expectations that keep all of us captives one way or another. The judgement. It all sounds stressful and terrible doesn’t it? But Anissa does find her way through this, albeit slowly, she has people who stand by her side too. And one of them is Ekaterina, the dreaded Sea Witch.

How this happens you’ll have to see for yourselves! I hope you’ll have fun reading this story and maybe see something of your pre-teen self in it. And if you do you can drop a review or just a rating at the Goodreads page that’s made for it.


I am beyond thrilled to announce that my stories This Village, published in Uncanny Magazine and Bonesoup, published in Strange Horizons are on the 2022 Locus Recommended Reading List! There are so many of my favorite authors and stories on that list. It’s always a pleasure to be included among them.

The Locus Awards are open for anyone to vote and even write in their own choices from last year! If you’d like to vote for the stories you loved last year here is the link. I would be honored if you considered my stories for the Locus Award.

And while we are on the subject, did you know that Uncanny Magazine is running their yearly Uncanny Magazine 2022 Favorite Fiction Reader Poll and you can vote up to three of your favorite Uncanny stories! My flash piece This Village is one of the stories in the Poll. If you connected with this little story I would love if you voted for it.

Most of all lists are a great opportunity to discover new and amazing short stories. But there are some really cool stories that might not turn up on lists this year. So please keep looking for the stories that might speak to you. They are still out there, waiting 🙂

New Story Out: Flower, Daughter, Soil, Seed

Sharps and Soft by Galen Dara

I am ecstatic to kick off the new year with my short story “Flower, Daughter, Soil, Seed” published in Uncanny Magazine’s double-sized, milestone Issue #50!!! I mean do you see the ToC there? I still can’t believe this. And to top it all off there’s a mind-blowing cover by Galen Dara. The story I am sharing in this issue is one of my favorites I have written. It has a lot of things I love in stories and I wanted to achieve in one for quite some time.

It started as a vague image in my head of a woman sprouting flowers. For what reason? I didn’t know. Then came the Codex Weekend Warrior with a prompt that made me dig a little deeper. At first I thought I could wrap this up as a flash, but it soon became obvious that this story would expand much further in time and place that I originally intended so I let inspiration guide me and I travelled along with the story. I explain a bit more of that process and other details in this interview taken by the inimitable Caroline M. Yoachim.

This is a story about flowers and people. About flower people and about how people blossom like flowers when the times are right and how they might wither when the times are harsh, but still be able to fight, put up a resistance and, when everything is over and done, leave something behind them. A person or an idea. An intention perhaps.

Flowers don’t have memory. Not in the way humans do. They don’t know where they come from or why they are. They only care about flower-things. But they know when they love a place with their whole being. Because each forest has a different kind of smell, color, and feel to it, like a human body. And the soil is its skin.

It is also a story about family lines and family stories. How the life of our ancestors becomes something more than life, it becomes myth, a fairytale, or even history, and then it all trickles down to us. That’s what the life of all those flower women became at the end. A myth. A story to be told. But nobody can deny this family that their own family myth had been real. 

This is also a story about travels and I hope you will travel with it like I did when I was writing it. Happy reading and safe travels. 🙂


Happy New Year everyone!

This took a while but I feel I read more stories this year perhaps. As always my wish is to read more and there are still stories I have my eye on to read but haven’t yet gotten around to. Please enjoy this imperfect list in the hope that you’ll find something you love in there.

Ribbons, by Natalia Theodoridou, in Uncanny (January)

This story is both down to earth and very mythical. There is a harshness to this world, but also a deep tenderness to fight off the loneliness.

Sonskins, by Dare Segun Falowo, in Baffling Magazine (January)

Ahhhh there is a kind of surreal body horror imagery that just hits the right buttons for me, and this is one of those cases. This story is devastating and devastatingly beautiful. Who does a body belong to? Can you change a person by forcing their body to act a certain way. These questions cut deep in the story.

The Needle Eye Bridge, by Millie Ho, in The Puritan (January)

This is a touching account of loss. Loss of family, loss of culture, and loss of a childhood that is connected to a place. I really loved how Millie wrote about migration and trying to figure out how to reconnect with ones roots after so much time has passed.

The Aftertastes, by Daria Lavelle, in The Deadlands (January)

This was a gut punch. Food had the power to redeem you or destroy you in the afterlife, and the game is rigged. But what if someone with compassion started cooking the food of the souls?

Dick Pig, by Ian Muneshwar, in Nightmare (January)
This is a super original take on both haunted house and cosmic horror and all via Grindr app. As always with Ian’s stories, the prose is sto strong and flows so fast you barely notice the length.

She Calls, by Nelly Geraldine Garcia-Rosas, in Apparition Lit (January)

This is such a mesmerizing story! It grabs you and pulls you in and you swim until you reach Her! If you want to feel the rain against your cheeks this story is for you!

Dissent: A Five-course Meal (with Suggested Pairings), by Aimee Ogden, in Lightspeed (January)

An entire revolution unfolds in front of our eyes in less than a thousand words. And its taste is pungent and bitter, but ultimately sweet. Because no matter how much the protagonist has lost during the course of the story, they haven’t lost themselves.

A Record of Our Meeting with the Grand Faerie Lord of Vast Space and Its Great Mysteries, Revised, by A.T. Greenblatt, in Beneath Ceaseless Skies (February)

I love a good time travel story as much as I love stories with unusual structures and Aliza manages to blend both seamlessly in this enchanting story with an equally enchanting Faerie Lord.

Neunet, by Sharang Biswas, in Lightspeed (February)

A company that uses human brains as computers and the people who offer themselves (or are offered by others) for the job. Oh, this story wrecked me. Read it when you want to feel deep existential emotions and also need a good cry.

Intimacies, by Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko, in Strange Horizons (February)

A fascinating vision of a world where humans and hippocampi collide over the nature and the truth of intimacy. I loved this story when I read it. The biology and world building are stunning but the two main characters take the cake.

Girl Oil, by Grace P. Fong, in (February)

This is a gutting story about trying to fit in a world that very few people actually do. Usually those who have the power. And what the desire to fit in seamlessly can do to bodies.

When We Were Gods, by Isha Karki, in Lightspeed (February)

Isha’s stories are latticeworks of prose. They have texture and thickness and demand all your senses to be experienced. This was one of the most mind-bending stories we read during the workshop.

Douen, by Suzan Palumbo, in The Dark (March)
A heartbreaking story of a child ghost that asks for the same thing every child does: to be loved and accepted. The sadness of this piece is palpable. It’s a gut-punch of emotions.

Embroidery of a Bird’s Heart, by Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas, in Strange Horizons (March)

This story is like a warm hug, or a favorite relative returning from the dead to have lunch with you every Saturday. Heartbreaking and yet quietly hopeful, and full of love.

How to Make a Spell Jar, by EA Crawley, in Xenocultivars: Stories of Queer Growth (March)

I love this story so much. It gave me the warm feeling only stories with so much empathy do. Every character here is deeply understood and loved for who they are. Just a perfect comfort read.

Small Offerings for a Small God, by Virginia M Mohlere, in Luna Station Quarterly (March)

A beautiful and poignant story about the meaning of spirituality and the possibility of redemption. This is a nuances and complex story and I love, love, love the ending.

The Alternity of Dead Universes, by Monte Lin, in Kaleidotrope (April)
The ideas in this one are mind blowing. The combination of lyrical language and funny dialogue make for a moving, heartwarming story about fitting in and finding home, even when you are a sentient dead universe.

An Urge to Create Honey, by Martin Cahill, in Clarkesworld (April)

Bee-like aliens who can consume and change you but for your own good? I bow to Marty for managing to create a really alien perspective while also infusing it with great compassion and making it really feel like homecoming. Like a parent’s love.

Beginnings, by Kristina Ten, in Fantasy Magazine (April)

This story broke me in the most subtle way. If you want a shot of fairytale heartbreak, but before that a beautiful beginning then read this.

A Sword Has One Purpose, by Phoebe Barton, in Lightspeed (April)

This was such a fun story full of turns and excitement, and (possibly) a very happy ending. It also featured fighting Nazis!

The Travel Guide to the Dimension of Lost Things, by Effie Seiberg, in Podcastle (April)

Effie just stepped on my heart while also melting it. A wrenching and yet hopeful story on living with depression.

Coming Through in Waves, by Samantha Murray, in Strange Horizons (April)
This story examines the themes of memory and adaptation and self from different perspectives. Samantha is giving each expression of the theme the love it deserves.

Me and Seed Sheself, by Celeste Rita Baker, in Khōréō (May)

Celeste is one of those authors who can infuse as story with warmth and life and make anthropomorphic inanimate objects have the depth and the personality of fully-fleshed out human being. This story is not exception and I love it for that exact reason.

Your Eyes, My Beacon: Being an Account of Several Misadventures and How I Found My Way Home, by C.L. Clark, in Uncanny (May)

This story fed my current OFMD withdrawal and I am so thankful for it. A sapphic story about a pirate with commitment issues and a selfless but guarded light keeper. C.L. is a master worldbuilder and I just love all the elements they seed throughout and how well the characters are sketched. So good!

The Fruit of the Princess Tree, by Sage Tyrtle, in Apex (May)

Another one that wrecked me. A tree heavy with princesses blooms every spring and dies every winter. This story did not hold back on the gut punches. It went all the way and examined femininity as a performance and a survival tactic in every which way. Including the really bleak ones.

The Grief Portal, by Aun-juli Riddle, in Apparition Lit (May)

And after all the heartbreak it would be wonderful if there was a secret portal with a guide to help you find your self again. This story is meditative and calm and before you realize it, you are already feeling more hopeful by the end. Beautiful!

Two Hands, Wrapped in Gold, by S.B. Divya, in Uncanny (May/June)

This is an amazing retelling of Rumpelstiltskin! It feels so original, fleshed out, and real. It’s heartbreaking and hopeful and most of all it’s a whole journey!

The Bones Beneath, by Vanessa Fogg, in Podcastle (June)

Vanessa has a talent for creating great emotions in very short spaces and this is no exception. How does it feel when your neighbor has done horrible things that you were too afraid to stop? How can the victims of a civil war move on when they live side by side with the oppressor? How can you honor old friends, who died a horrible and unfair death? Vanessa does an amazing job of navigating all of these with nuance.

Feeding on the Thamirabarani Metro, by M. L. Krishnan in Fractured Lit (June)

This is a very short story that’s filled to the brim with rage and hurt and hunger and all wrapped up in gorgeous prose.

An Old Man Cometh and He Is Overgrown, by Lyndsie Manusos, in Lightspeed (July)

I love this story! Such lush worldbuilding and deep characterization. The ending crushed me.

Serenissima, by E. Lily Yu, in Sunday Morning Transport (July)

A rich story about the importance of legacy and finding a place in the world away from others’ expectations. Also sacred gulls and the taste of sun itself.

The Morning House, by Kate Heartfield, in Podcastle (July)

What does it mean to draw strength from your own self on bad days, when there is nothing else to reach for? This is what this story is exploring and it does so wonderfully. It’s quiet story that drips melancholy and love with every phrase. It leaves you warm inside and reminds you to be a little kinder to yourself. Especially on bad days.

Whole, by Somto Ihezue, in Cossmass Infinities (July)

Such a gorgeous prose, like seriously amazing prose that you feel in your bones. This story is mythic and intimate, raw and tender and has just the perfect ending.

Migratory Patterns of The Modern American Skyscraper, by Derrick Boden, in Clarkesworld (August)

I love a flash that can pack so much in such a small space. This is a fable about migrating skyscrapers, a sharp critique on late-stage capitalism and gentrification, but also a hopeful story of community where marginalized people find a way to build their own unique culture between the cracks.

The Green Man’s Wife, by Archita Mittra, in Tasavvur (August)

This story packed so many emotions and lush worldbuilding as the protagonist descends to the world of the Fay and the Green Man. There were so many turns to this story and the prose didn’t let me put it down.

Wanderlust, by LP Kindred, in Anathema Magazine (August)
This is such a warm and lush love story that spans multiverses. It comes for your heart and doesn’t let go.

D.I.Y., by John Wiswell, in (August)

This was one of the most hopeful stories I have read in quite a while. Loved the two protagonists and the ending left me cheering. Treat yourself with it!

Raindrop Doughnuts for Women Raining Inside, by Jana Bianchi, in Translunar Travelers Lounge (August)

I would call this story soft sci-fi. This is a kind of ghost story and a kind of time travel story. Reading old recipes written by generations past is a type of time travel. The trick is always what we are going to add to the recipe for the generations to come. Just lovely!

Elsewhere, Elsewhen, by L. Chan, in Giganotosaurus (August)

Is there a way to colonize and exploit the concept of time? The sheer ingenuity of the premise blows my mind. This story is only around 6k and it feels like I just read a whole novel. A lesson on the interplay of worldbuilding and plotting.

A Dervish among the Graves of Ghazni, by Tanvir Ahmed, in The Deadlands (September)

This is such an original story of love that beats death! If you like the tale of Orpheus and Euridice, you will find much to love in this completely fresh story that has a bittersweet ending. Just spellbinding!

The Weight of It All, by Jennifer Hudak, in Fantasy Magazine (September)
This story by pulls exactly zero punches when it comes to talking about ED. It’s also very tender and hopeful in a way that feels real and possible.

The Inheritance of Dust and Leather, by Jenny Rae Rappaport, in Lightspeed (September)

This is a heartbreaking, yet unexpected retelling that contemplates what happily ever after really means when looking like monster was never really the curse.

The Probability of One, by Jen Brown, in Fantasy Magazine (September)

A mind-blowing and time-bending story. It’s doing so much in such a little space. Builds up and brings crushing down empires, somewhere, somewhen…

12 Things a Trini Should Know Before Travelling to a Back in times Fete™, by R. S. A. Garcia, in Strange Horizons (October)

This story was such a journey! I love time travel stories that also say so much about the realities of the past and our society and still manage to be hopeful and full of humanity.

Sharp Things, Killing Things, by A.C. Wise, in Nightmare Magazine (October)

This is another example of how A.C. Wise makes the reality disintegrate around you so fast you never know what hit you. Heartbreaking and unforgettable, like a haunting.

This Excessive Use of Pickled Foods, by Leora Spitzer, in Khoreo (October/November)

A sweet (and salty!), funny, yet melancholic story about diaspora, anti-assimilation, empathy, and finding a new place and new way to be yourself.

What Are We If I Stay, by K.S. Walker, in Baffling Magazine (October)

This is a story about portals and the sudden change they can bring. Sometimes that change might be hopeful and sometimes there might be something else going on. That ending had me looking for more!

The Black and White, by Aigner Loren Wilson, in Fantasy Magazine (October)

This story doesn’t hold back when it comes to messy family relationships, identity, and the slow healing that comes when people face the past together, pick up the pieces and create something new.

Rabbit Test, by Samantha Mills, in Uncanny (November)

This story wasn’t just a gut-punch. It was several gut-punches. Sam knows how to take a story to lengths and depths few writers can. It’s an amazing skill to have. Go read it!

Rapunzel House, by K.C. Mead-Brewer, in The Rumpus (November)

When KC read us the first part of this story, we were left hungry for the rest. I finally got to read the whole story and all I have to say is: don’t miss on this wildly imaginative descent into the Rapunzel House. You won’t be able to put it down.

Immaculate, by Avra Margariti, in Seize the Press (November)

This is a great example of how Avra can write the type of body horror that feels delicious and beautiful, but hides under your skin like a splinter.

Sister, Silkie, Siren, Shark, by M. A. Blanchard, in Strange Horizons (November)

This story is sharp and threatens to break your heart from the start. It’s melancholy in all the right places. It comes from the salt of the ocean with a breath of hope for wind.

Last Stand of the E. 12th St. Pirates, by L.D. Lewis, in Lightspeed (December)

What a gut punch at the end! A powerful story about people trying to survive in a world that’s drowning literally and metaphorically by injustice.

Our Heartstrings Howl the Moon, by Eleanna Castroianni, in Strange Horizons (December)

Read this story if you want to cry today and also learn about the kid-grabbing practices in Greece during the civil war and afterwards. It captures the freedom and helplessness of the children group perfectly.

Skin, by Isha Karki, in khōréō (December) This story is so, so tactile in the way is shows how sometimes we peel the many layers of ourselves, in the fear that the wrong people might see the truth of us. Just a lovely heartbreak.

L’Homme de Houbigant, by Jonathan Louis Duckworth and Joe Koch, in The Deadlands (December)

This was a weird as hell (pun intended) story, with prose so baroque and exquisite, you can almost ignore the perfumed man’s wax mask. Almost. Read it and travel to a surreal and beautiful nightmare

NEW STORY OUT: Harvest of Bones

As 2022 bids us goodbye I had a new story come out in The Deadlands, issue #20!

Harvest of Bones is a story set in a was-ravaged country, in a small village run mostly by women since men have either died of sickness or joined the army and never came back. This is the last night before the enemy arrives at the village, the night the women must decide what to do. How will these bones they unearthed help them? 

The story draws heavily from the Greek history of various wars throughout the years, without focusing on any particular one. I had the image of bones floating in alcohol, ready for consumption stuck in my head and this was the result of that weird idea. I am a person who can’t hide her love of cannibal grannies (also known as grannibals) so of course the first character would have to be an old woman with an even older knowledge. 

This story is an older one of mine. It was written a long time ago inspired by a prompt. It had many near misses in the submission process and I am very happy it has finally found its home. It is dear to my heart because of the weird premise. It also features a made-up song I wrote in a later version, which I did once before in “The Giants of the Violet Sea”. Every time I do a thing like that I am surprised because I am don’t consider myself a poet but I am slowly starting to reconsider. 

“This is not a cemetery, it’s a bone garden,” Nana said. “Don’t let the stones fool you. These were added later by priests and nuns who didn’t know any better.” She spat on the hard ground as if the stone were an affront to her and grabbed her pickax. “The dead don’t rest here. They are only waiting.”

I hope you enjoy reading this one and travel with these women to your personal battlefields and back victorious. Happy holidays! 


This has been *a year* hasn’t it? I am still grateful for all the thing I managed to achieve. And there were some new and exciting ones! I sold four stories to different publications (some publications were new for me!) and even had the pleasure to write a story for the Wordcraft Writers Workshop powered by Google! Writing Worm-Mothers was a unique experience and I am humbled by the amazing group of authors who took part in the workshop.

Currently, I am guest-editing the Dread issue of Apparition Lit with Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas. The Apparition Team is a dream to work with and very patient as we learn the ropes of the magazine.

Since not all my stories are out yet–there is a story in the Deadlands that I am super excited to share with you at the end of the year–I will be updating the last entry later with a link. But for now here are the stories I published this year. I hope you’ll find something you like. Let’s go!

Here are the stories I published this year and are eligible for awards:

Of the Body – short story – 4300 words – Beneath Ceaseless Skies, issue #365

Sali and Osarah are going to have a baby together, but first they have to hunt and kill the animal that is pregnant with it.

This one started out mostly with vibes. I had the image of a dead deer with a newborn human baby inside it. This thought was so alien to me, so strange, that I had to make it either a far future science fantasy or some secondary world set on another planet. To be honest, more than half of the story is still in my head, and there is more science fiction in there than what’s on the paper. Perhaps in the future there is a novella or two to be found in there. This story is on the Nebula Recommended Reading List!

“What if, I think. What if she is both? She is of the Body, like all of us, and she belongs to it as much as all of us. She could belong to two different worlds. In the end, they are still one.”

Bonesoup – short story – 2400 words – Strange Horizons

Dina’s grandmother never lets her have sweets, yet she cooks up a storm for the other children in the neighborhood. A story about family, food, intergenerational trauma, and a cannibal granny!

Bonesoup_SiteThis story poured out of me one night almost completely formed. It’s a sort of heartwarming horror version of the witch from Hansel and Gretel with a lot of Greek family dynamics and intergenerational trauma thrown in the mix. I am still absolutely in love with the illustration Dante Luiz made for it and that’s why I used it as a featured image. This story is also on the Nebula Recommended Reading List!

“For a moment—perhaps it was my sweet-tooth brain—she looked mostly made of custard, her eyes were two pastel blue candied almonds, her chin was a shortbread biscuit. But parts of her were still meat. Her hair was black, and slick down her shoulders like always. I looked away and the image was gone.”

This Village – flash fiction – 800 words – Uncanny Magazine, issue #46

The unnamed narrator crossed a path and found themselves in a village unlike any other before.

Triantafyllou Issue 46 Story Tile

This story sprang from a Codex writing contest, during Week 3 and I am really glad that it did. It might be small but I found that people enjoyed reading a piece of hopeful fiction at a time when the news were not good at all. Very proud of this little story.

“There is always a trail wherever you live. You just have to find it. If you peer through an opening framed by two linden trees. If you follow the foam of the waves on a cold night. If you are not afraid to crawl into the long narrow caves that open like mouths on jagged rocks. You will see them. They all lead here. To this village.”

Harvest of Bones – short story – 2700 words – The Deadlands

In a village ravaged by war, soldiers come to take away sons and husbands. This is the last night, the night the women must decide what to do. How will these bones they unearthed help them?

This story is an older one of mine. It had many near misses in the submission process and I am very happy it has finally found its home. It is dear to my heart because of the weird premise and coincidentally it features another cannibal granny! I swear I wasn’t doing it on purpose before but now I might start to…

““This is not a cemetery, it’s a bone garden,” Nana said. “Don’t let the stones fool you. These were added later by priests and nuns who didn’t know any better.” She spat on the hard ground as if the stone were an affront to her and grabbed her pickax. “The dead don’t rest here. They are only waiting.””

Thank you for taking this journey through my year. If you enjoyed any of these stories it would be an honor if you voted for them for awards. I hope the new year bring stability and hope to all of us.

Dizziness of Freedom

Brief Notes on Dread


This is a companion piece to Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas‘s post A Door into the Uncertain. It’s like a nesting doll of dark delights, and if you click on either of us the other one pops out too! In a non-scary way of course…

The Apparition Lit team has decided to extend Halloween season for all of us well into November! Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas and I are guest-editing the Dread issue, which opens for submissions November 15-30. Thank you for this dreadful/wonderful gift Apparition Team! Apparition Lit’s initiative to work with different guest editors in order to showcase different perspectives on storytelling and different authors/editors is one to look up to. With Nelly we go back to 2019 Clarion West class. I always admired her inventiveness when it came to story telling and the ease with which she can evoke dread in just a couple of sentences. So this is a dream coming true for all of us! 

Dread, unlike a jump scare is not a fleeting moment. It is a steady and increasing condition of unease. A house of wrongness built with uncertainty. For me, uncertainty plays a great part in the buildup of dread. It’s when you know something really bad is about to happen but you can’t explain how you know. And not being able to explain it keeps you always alert, always waiting. The tension never releases. And that’s when the story pulls the rug out from under your feet.

We walk around the world looking for signs of danger, of impending doom, personal or collective. It’s a survival thing. But sometimes these signs are not tangible or quantifiable. Sometimes the wrong thing can just be a familiar face smiling at you the wrong way. Or an object left somewhere it shouldn’t have been. A smell that takes you back to some dark place you had forgotten.

Dread is realizing every ghost story you ever been told is true, because the past is coming to haunt you. It’s already haunting you. It’s not personal. It is just history written with the blood of the innocent, just like in “Laal Andhi,” by Usman T. Malik.

Other times it is personal. Like in “Sharp Things, Killing Things,” by A.C. Wise. Sometimes what comes to haunt you is something that’s been coming for a long time. It’s because of something you did, or something you think you did but you are not sure. The dread comes from slowly realizing what you were capable of all this time. That you are both the victim and the monster of your own story.

Dread can be not recognizing your best friend. The person you’ve been to Hell and back with and now you are not sure if they are even human anymore or if they are something else. Something containing a piece of Hell within, just like in “The Blood Drip,” by Brian Evenson.

And sometimes like in Ian Muneshwar’s “Dick Pig,” dread can be a literal house of wrongness that you can’t stop from going deeper and deeper inside. And when you finally reach its guts, you know that’s where you’re meant to be all along. The dread stops being yours and belongs, perhaps, only to the reader.

I want to know your definition of dread. What keeps you on edge. What are the monsters that you check for every time you enter a dark room, and how do they torment you? Lure me into your own version of unreality and let me be both uneasy and glad to be there.



So stocked to announce that my first publication in Beneath Ceaseless Skies is out! “Of the Body” is a fantasy story set in a world where animals carry and give birth to human babies. Sali and Osarah are going to have a baby together, but first they have to hunt and kill the animal that is pregnant with it.

It’s a story about a family’s persistence, the symbiotic relationship of human and nature, community, and adaptation. It’s in the wonderful company of Adam R. Shannon‘s story “Five Aspects of River and Sky”, a story that also deals with themes of human vs nature, adaptation and moving forward. I couldn’t have asked for a better story-match.

I wrote this story at the beginning of 2021. I stumbled upon a prompt about a dead deer and a human baby on Codex Writers’ Forum and things just clicked in my mind. I wanted a world where things where so interconnected to each other that humans would be born of animals. And I wanted people to still be stubborn and still make mistakes when it came to their relationship with nature. Because humans don’t learn easy.

Many questions were born from this idea. What would happen to the humans then? Would they find their way to each other despite being born of a different species? And if they did, how would they then view their animal mothers? Who did the babies really belong to? A considerable amount of denial would have to exist for them to not recognize that in fact they were part of both worlds. And so this story with one of the wildest premises I’ve written was born.

We arrived to this world, fresh and ignorant, and stood separate from it. All living things shared one single breath. It was the Body revealing itself to our ancestors. We stood on top of the Body, walked around it, dove into its guts, yet we did not see it.

This story was a bit out of my comfort zone and I enjoyed stretching my writer’s muscles. If you want to listen to the story here is the Podcast version of it. I hope you like it! 



My story “Bonesoup” is out in the new issue of Strange Horizons! This is my second appearance in a magazine I really love and I am so excited! 

The amazing Dante Luiz picked my story and created a gorgeous and chilling illustration based on it. It’s the one you see as a featured image at the top. I just can’t stop staring at it and finding new details that fit my story’s themes so well. 

The story sprung from a strange thought I had one night (more like super early morning…) about the Witch from Hansel and Gretel having children of her own, and what if these children carried on the cannibalistic tradition. It was not meant to be set in the modern-day, rather than set in some unspecified place that had a Middle Ages/fairytale feel. What happened, of course, was that the minute I sat down to write the story it became a modern-day Greek story about a grandmother trying to feed her granddaughter “good food” with references to the Greek Famine, and the occupation syndrome, and all the baggage the past carries. 


For a moment—perhaps it was my sweet-tooth brain—she looked mostly made of custard, her eyes were two pastel blue candied almonds, her chin was a shortbread biscuit. But parts of her were still meat.


This is a dark story that invokes a lot of uneasiness, but underneath it all there is love that binds the family of the story together. Food is love after all. I hope this story resonates with you.