June 1, 2019

Human Through and Through

by K. A. Rochnik The sun sets behind the row of giant pines as I watch my manta ray son circle slowly near the bottom of the pool. I hunch at the edge, arms wrapped around my belly, like I’m bleeding from a hidden wound. I track my son’s smooth glide, intent on soaking up every inch of his dark bat-shaped body. Last year when he was still wholly human, he darted about, dodging sharp corners by a hair, artfully prat-falling. I would put my nose in the crown of his tousled head, and savor his smell. Now I can’t tell his scent from a bucket of chum.

June 1, 2019

Sealskin

by L Chan You know where the selkies come ashore, where they shrug out of their skins, leaving them wrinkled and steaming on the rocks. Not just the protected parks, because selkies are wild things, and even if they speak in their soft, unaffected tongues, they care not for the laws of man. She stops you with a glance. The weight of her gaze pins your hand to the sealskin, a bloodwarm puddle of skin and fat. If you want her to wife, you have to take the skin. Take the skin, take the woman.

June 1, 2019

A Warm, Dark Place in the Earth

by Mackenzie Kincaid Gwyn the hedgewitch had her home in the ground. It was a matter of comfort and practicality, because Gwyn had been a simple badger before she’d ever been a hedgewitch, but it also tended to put off visitors, which was just as Gwyn wished it. The hole that was the entrance looked much too small for any grown man to fit into, and that was just as well because Gwyn had had more than enough of grown men. She’d hardly be taking them on as clients, whether they could find their way to her door or no.

March 1, 2019

Issue 2

Welcome to Issue 2 of Zooscape! Book-ended between cats, you will find in this issue a variety of artifacts.  Ancient artifacts that belong in a museum, and artifacts that don’t think of themselves as inanimate.  Powerful artifacts that can do great good when wielded in the right paws, or great damage when the right paws can’t stop them.  So, wander through this library of an issue, examining the artifacts along the way.  Someday, instead, perhaps they will examine you… * * * Cat of Thunder by John Taloni Bibelots and Baubles by Shauna Roberts New Hire at the Final Library by Laurence Raphael Brothers The Move by Kristi Brooks ¡Viva…

March 1, 2019

Clyde and the Pickle Jar

by Steve Carr Lying on the kitchen window sill above the sink, Clyde licked his paws as the noonday sun warmed his bright orange fur. The gentle breeze that tickled the tips of his pointed ears carried with it the aromas of the animals in the farm yard along with honeysuckle and roses. He had his eyes on Mistress who was standing by the table and trying to get a lid off of a jar. Her face was red from exertion as she strained to twist the lid. She banged it on the table, and then stuck a knife under the rim of the lid, but was still unable to…

March 1, 2019

¡Viva Piñata!

by L.D. Nguyen Anita sank into the driver’s seat and slit the envelope with the sharp edge of her hoof. Inside was the mug of a unicorn, his eyes like red rubies. His profile said that he’d strung his wife from a tree branch and smashed her head in with a broomstick. Then he’d blindfolded the neighborhood kids and told them to do the same to his two baby ponies.  All because she’d blabbed about his work for the cartel, smuggling chocolates and hard candies in his gut across the border. Now he was worth $650,000, dead or alive. Anita lit up the end of her churro and breathed deep….

March 1, 2019

The Move

by Kristi Brooks At night the elephants would congregate in the living room. The largest, Brack, was easily five pounds and his massive two foot frame had been bound in brown leather. He towered over the ceramic elephants that lined the bookshelves; and to the half-inch glass figurines that guarded the pictures on the dresser he was a god. “Fellow Brethren,” Brack snorted through his trunk, “some of us have been in this mess before, so we know how unorganized humans can be when it comes to packing.”

March 1, 2019

New Hire at the Final Library

by Laurence Raphael Brothers Welcome to the Library of Beasts. Well. Technically, it’s the Final Library and Transtemporal Museum of Human Culture, but after the orientation tour I’m sure you’ll agree the informal name is superior. What? You don’t know what you’re doing here? Ah, confusion is normal in a newborn librarian. Let’s just take the tour. The gazelle resting on the throw rug in the central reading room is certainly not showing off. The elegant creature has her nose in a volume of Flaubert, but you’d have to look over her shoulder to see the title, Sentimental Education, so it’s not as if she’s flaunting it. She’s too engrossed…

March 1, 2019

Bibelots and Baubles

by Shauna Roberts Buddy Jumphigh, curator of bibelots and baubles at the Third Smithsonian Institute, sighed and jammed his pince-nez onto his snout. There was no point in continuing to sniff the breezes wafting past his open window; no point in melancholic reminisces of times past when the Mall thronged with people; no point in whining, as he longed to do:  he could not avoid cataloging the horrifying object before him any longer. In a slow, cramped, scholarly hand, he printed the item acquisition number at the top of the form, along with a brief descriptor: “mechanical hummingbird with gems.”

March 1, 2019

Cat of Thunder

by John Taloni Mirru padded around her nest, ears twitching. Her tail flicked back and forth as she heard distant thuds. Her kittens curled against each other, sleeping fitfully. Their paws pressed against one another as they cuddled together in the underbrush, hidden in a clump of gorse bushes. A column of smoke rose in the distance. The faint whiff of its far-off smell caused Mirru’s nose to wrinkle. Then a louder noise cracked the night – an explosion. She could hear shouting and observed a whirl of activity. The figures had two legs and two arms. People, of one variety or another. One of her kittens woke and mewled,…