June 1, 2021

Palmerino’s Dream

by Joanna Galbraith In the Florentine hills below Fiesole, where the land is quilted with olive groves and stitched with high stone walls, where every house has dark green shutters and facades of yellow yolk; there lives the rooster of Villa di Notte who crows throughout the day. Lustily squawking as he struts his stuff, no one understands him apart from the chickens. ‘Hush,’ they coo as he begins to crow. ‘Today he begins the Seventh Circle of Hell.’ It is the rooster’s dream to reach Paradiso; His father only made it as far as Purgatorio. Sometimes the villa dog comes down to listen; scratching his back on the dry…

June 1, 2021

Miss Smokey

by Diana A. Hart The squeals of the horde grew closer. I pulled in a breath, thick with wood and old newsprint, and reared onto my hind legs. My knees ached as I staggered to the center of the room. Standing upright was a breeze as a woman, but I was in bear-form, and grizzlies sure as hell aren’t meant to walk that way. My muzzle wrinkled as I pawed my wide-brimmed hat into place and braced for impact. A pack of first-graders rounded the corner, flapping coloring books and screeching like howler monkeys on espresso. I snorted. They made a beeline for the menagerie of stuffed wildlife that lined…

June 1, 2021

A List of Historical Places Frequented by a Boy and His Dog

by Eleanor R. Wood 1.) The tree fort your friend built, that you so longed to play in, but instead only visited once. When you realized I couldn’t climb up and play too, you never went back. I marked it for us anyway. 2.) The shallow creek, where we splashed and cooled off in summer. Your smooth feet would slip on the rocks. When you fell and cut your chin that time, I licked it better. 3.) The wide open space of the park, where you’d throw the frisbee over and over and I’d bring it back to you again and again until we both fell, laughing and panting, to…

June 1, 2021

Him Without Her and Her Within Him

by Aimee Ogden Lincoln is in the kitchen smearing peanut butter onto the last few crackers in the box, the ones that are chipped and cracked but still salvageable. He clicks the knife hard against the edges of the peanut butter jar, crinkles the cracker sleeves too, but he can still hear his mom crying upstairs, and Aunt Jen’s voice raised in counterpoint. He slams the cupboard door and for a moment there’s just the crash of wood on wood in his ears and not the noise from above. It’s not fair. It’s not fair that he has to pretend nothing’s wrong while one big long parade of wrongness marches…

June 1, 2021

Persinette

by Elizabeth Walker My sire was a dragon held to be greedy even by the standards of our breed. He drugged my mother and stole me before my shell had even had a chance to soften. He sold my egg for gold to a witch. The witch, Otha, wanted a tame dragon, and Father wanted more treasure for his hoard. He should’ve remembered hatchlings can hear through our shells, and Mother had whispered her love to each of us. I was born knowing the wrong that had been done to me. As my egg opened, and I tumbled into Otha’s waiting arms, I set her hair afire.

June 1, 2021

Puss Reboots

by Rachel Ayers Puss is magnificat, terrificat, fantasticat. He is all that is feline grace and modern machine. He is IntelliCat09 (patent pending). And pending it shall remain, for his dear master, Mr. Mark Carabas, has passed on, leaving his greatest work unrecognized. The inventor left the cat to his youngest son, Tom—of course Puss knows who belongs to whom, but he’ll watch out for the lad. The boy was quite put out. Thought he’d be better off with the house or car, like his older brothers got. He’ll know better soon. “What am I supposed to do, skin you and eat you?” young Tom asks. “I’ll starve while my…

June 1, 2021

The Tech

by James L. Steele Five monitors on the desk took up three sides of the tiny room. Behind them dangled a mess of wires, power strips, and CPUs that generated so much heat Tech had disconnected this room from the heating system months ago. Tech sat in the chair, turned to the right-hand desk. The brown rat wore no clothing. His clothes, phone, wallet, and car keys had been stashed in a drawer elsewhere in the building, and as long as he was on the job, he was not allowed to wear them. Nobody wore clothes in here because Alpha said this was a place to shed civilization. Tech’s fur…

June 1, 2021

The Sewers of New York

by Elinor Caiman Sands A: You haven’t eaten for two months so you creep up slowly through the steaming manhole, claws grasping the concrete, and step out onto the busy sidewalk. Here the lights of Manhattan are overwhelming, as is the stinky traffic and horrible indigestible donut smells. It’s really not a nice place to be. But you’re soooo terribly hungry. Got to try something; you’re way too young and too little to go to the great swamp in the sky. So what do you want to do? Choose B if—yay!—you want to try nomming a passing tourist. Their tasty-looking ankles scurry in every direction. They smell soooo delicious. Choose…

June 1, 2021

Issue 11

Welcome to Issue 11 of Zooscape! When the world is crushing in all around, what do you do?  How do you survive?  Perhaps, you find an animal to lead the way, or an animal to stay close by your side.  Or maybe, to survive the pain, you turn into an animal yourself. These stories are profiles of characters surviving in the space between their worst fears and their greatest hopes; characters surviving pain, making choices, and letting themselves discover the animal inside. * * * The Sewers of New York by Elinor Caiman Sands The Tech by James L. Steele Puss Reboots by Rachel Ayers Persinette by Elizabeth Walker Him Without Her and Her…

March 1, 2021

Issue 10

Welcome to Issue 10 of Zooscape! This issue of Zooscape would like to invite you to have coffee with dolphins, travel to Jupiter with dragons, and visit heaven with crabs.  Unfortunately, it can’t, because none of those things happen in these stories.  Oh, there are dolphins and coffee; Jupiter and dragons; heaven and crabs; but they’re all mixed up in a different order, and you’ll have to read the stories to find out what order they’re actually arranged in.  Think of it as a treasure hunt that will take you to outer space, the afterlife, and back again. * * * Dance of Wood and Grace by Marie Croke The Lonely…