by Gwynne Garfinkle This is the story of Purple and Green, two hedgehogs who were the best of friends. They rolled and played on the forest floor. The hedgehogs were spiny and guarded, but they knew how to reach each other. They feasted on berries and mushrooms, bright frogs and luminous snails, while they told each other the funniest and saddest and strangest stories they could think of. Some were stories they’d read in books, while others were anecdotes they’d heard from other hedgehogs or happenings from their own lives. Even calamities that had befallen them became fodder for their stories, offered up for each other’s enjoyment. Then one morning,…
by Matt Dovey Ursula lifted her snout to look at the mountain. The meadowed foothills she stood in were dotted with poppy and primrose and cranesbill and cowslip, an explosion of color and scent in the late spring sun, the long grass tickling her paws and her hind legs; above that the forested slopes, birch and rowan and willow and alder rising into needle-pines and gray firs; above that the snowline, ice and rock and brutal winds. And above that, at the top, God; and with God, the answer Ursula had traveled so far for: what kind of bear am I meant to be?
by Lucia Iglesias I stepped into the bath. The stone floor sloped, a gentle helix, spiraling me into the steaming pool. Water beaded the cavern walls, as if the entire bathing cave were strung with pearls. Stepping through veils of steam, I spiraled deeper into the pool. At the center, I was waist-deep. As water seeped into my pelt, I felt like a lodestone, water drawn to me like iron filings, turning my fur black and dragging at my edges.
by Stella B. James From the mouth of my cave, I can see the destruction; thick pillars of smoke, almost black in color. I can hear the cries of many people, men and women alike. The villages are being pillaged, the castle under siege. I lay my head back down with a snort and close my eyes. Those silly humans have nothing better to do than allow their greed to consume them.
With awards season upon us, we wanted to make a quick and easy reference list of all of our stories from 2019 that are eligible for awards. Cat of Thunder by John Taloni (3,700 words) Bibelots and Baubles by Shauna Roberts (700 words) New Hire at the Final Library by Laurence Raphael Brothers (900 words) The Move by Kristi Brooks (1000 words) ¡Viva Piñata! by L.D. Nguyen (300 words) Clyde and the Pickle Jar by Steve Carr (1,400 words) A Warm, Dark Place in the Earth by Mackenzie Kincaid (4,100 words) Sealskin by L Chan (700 words) Good, Better, Best by Rachel Rodman (3,400 words) Dragons Are Made by Searska GreyRaven (2,600…
Welcome to Issue 5 of Zooscape! Frogs, toads, and mind-altering experiences… Is there any more powerfully, permanently mind-altering experience than reading a story? A good story doesn’t just stay with you, it can change you. It can expand your mind. Stories are how we navigate the world, and when we let others control our stories, we lose our voices, our power, our agency, and even who we are. But when we are free to explore and find the stories that resonate—they can give us voice, power, agency, and help us understand who we are. The great thing about furry fiction is that it doesn’t accept the normal constraints laid upon…
by Lena Ng There is nothing so joyous—as the snow melts away, and the early green buds burst from the branches, and the sun grows stronger and brighter, and the winter’s chill departs from your bones, and the vibrant colours of Easter flowers and emerald grass begin to paint the land—as a heavy, hearty, welcome-to-a-new-spring breakfast. So thought Mole as he stretched and yawned, and stretched and yawned again, belly up under a blue-and-white quilt, while the perfume of spring seeped into his cozy, underground abode.
by Diana A. Hart My paws pounded against the carpet, a furious thunder that matched the drumming of my heart. A meowl tore from my throat. I dropped flat, claws digging into the fiber, and lashed my tail as the visions hit me again. My pupils dilated. Nine versions of reality poured into my skull and smothered my senses, each a fluttering glimpse of what could be.
by Luna Corbden I am a toad. And I want you to lick me. Your tongue won’t hurt me at all. It’s wide and rough and relatively short, but it will only tickle. I promise. You think I’m merely an animal (you’d be wrong about that), not even a very smart animal, a fat round reptile (you’d be wrong about that, too), just out to catch flies from my hollow next to the desert river.
by Michael H. Payne “Public domain?” Jack Pumpkinhead always sounded to Ozma like he should be blinking in confusion, but the carved holes that served as his eyes simply didn’t allow it. “What does that mean, dear father?” Ozma sighed. “It means you’ve been calling me your father for longer than anyone out in the Reading World has been alive.” She shifted on the green velvet cushion of her throne, the verdant light that cascaded down from the windows high along the walls of the circular room not quite as soothing as it had been a moment ago. “And the joke itself is so old, its whiskers have grown whiskers.”