June 1, 2020

Issue 7

Welcome to Issue 7 of Zooscape! If you’re reading this issue of Zooscape, then you’ve survived the long, hard spring that lasted ten thousand years.  You’ll need some provisions before continuing on your journey.  So, please, take these stories with you on your way… * * * The God-Smoker by Dylan Craine Maker Space by Adele Gardner When the Horse Came to the Open House by K. C. Mead-Brewer Love From Goldie by David Steffen Riding Through the Desert by Laurence Raphael Brothers Fur and Feather by Ingrid L. Taylor * * * Each of these stories is a journey in miniature, and the characters are changed by the end.  Much as…

June 1, 2020

Fur and Feather

by Ingrid L. Taylor The meadow had been hers for as long as it had taken the flowers to pass through one cycle of blooming and fading. She had defended against the larger birds, the crows and the sparrows, as yellow sun had given way to the pale autumn. The memory of her mother’s nest had dimmed, and she learned to treasure the solitary rustle of the grasses and the slow darkening of days. The coyote came with the smell of rain. She heard him at night as he passed around the edge of her meadow, keeping to the shelter of the trees.

June 1, 2020

Love From Goldie

by David Steffen We used to be so close.  What happened between us, Gloria?  Is it because I died?  I would never have thought our marriage was so superficial.  For Christ’s sake, we’d been married for eighteen years!  And now you won’t even talk to me, won’t even look at me.  I’d never even believed in reincarnation, but here I am.  I guess reincarnation believed in me. I know I’ve changed.  You pass by and I watch you, unblinking, hoping for even a split second of eye contact.  After being ignored for so long, even that small acknowledgment of my existence would be amazing.  But, no, you keep walking.  As…

June 1, 2020

Riding Through the Desert

by Laurence Raphael Brothers On the third day in the desert, we stopped at a dusty old creek bed full of drift sand. I was hoping we could dig a shallow well but—”No dice,” said my horse, so we moved on. I sighed. “At least we’re out of the rain.” “Rain,” he said, shaking his head, “Come on, Susannah, don’t torture me like that.” “Sorry.” We kept going. Pioche, Nevada was supposed to be out here somewhere, said to be the last outpost of humanity in the sprawling desert covering the western half of the former United States. The change was supposed to have started around here, and the people…

June 1, 2020

When the Horse Came to the Open House

by K. C. Mead-Brewer No one gave it a second thought. Lots of people attend Open House events for the free cookies or wine, or maybe just to admire a stranger’s shiplap and crown molding, bathroom mirrors in the shapes of seashells. No, the neighborhood didn’t begin to worry until a few days later when the zippy little realtor came out of the house smiling at the horse and the horse nodding back at him. What does a horse want with the house on the corner? It normally wouldn’t be a big deal except that more than a few people in the neighborhood are allergic to hay and the horse’s…

June 1, 2020

Maker Space

by Adele Gardner On his second birthday, Carolina Wannemacher took her son out in his stroller to shop for a new suit.  She had instructed him carefully.  When the clerk arrived, Nigel lay inert in the harness, just a trifle more still than a soundly sleeping toddler.  As Carolina carefully worked the suit onto the artificially stiff limbs, the clerk gave her an odd look.  “Are you sure you want to spend the money?  A little one like that grows so fast.” “He’s a doll, you see,” Carolina said seriously, keeping her attention focused on Nigel.  He was being so good.  Following his programming perfectly.  Not an eyelash twitched.

June 1, 2020

The God-Smoker

by Dylan Craine “If you do this,” said the insect, “then you’ll regret it.” Her voice had a stentorian quality to it that belied its feeble pitch. “Oh, I doubt that,” said the cheetah. He brought the meerschaum bowl of the pipe closer to his face. “You have no power over me. You may be a goddess to your people, but to mine, you’re nothing but a fancy ant.” With his other paw, he pushed his teashades up the bridge of his muzzle.

March 1, 2020

Issue 6

Welcome to Issue 6 of Zooscape! As winter melts into spring, readers and bears alike awake from their hibernation. Emerge from your cave, dear reader-bear, look around, and see the new stories we have for you to read! * * * Dragon Child by Stella B. James Double Helix by Lucia Iglesias The Bone Poet and God by Matt Dovey The Hedgehog and the Pine Cone by Gwynne Garfinkle As If Waiting by A. Katherine Black The Adventures of WaterBear and Moss Piglet by Sandy Parsons * * * Once you’ve seen these stories—full of dragons and bears; creatures gigantic and minuscule; voyages both out into the universe and inward to the…

March 1, 2020

The Adventures of WaterBear and Moss Piglet

by Sandy Parsons Deep in the 100 mm petri dish, WaterBear and Moss Piglet played. Light signaled the arrival of Crystal Robin. She had so many fun toys. “What do you think she’ll do to us today?” asked Piglet. He was a very timid tardigrade. “Maybe she’ll put us on the Merry-go-Round. We’ll get dizzy.” “No, I don’t think I’d like that.” The last time Crystal had centrifuged them he’d been a tun for weeks. “I’m still trying to get back to my full size.”

March 1, 2020

As If Waiting

by A. Katherine Black The fur on Aainah’s legs shifted as Jwartan’s tail wrapped around her ankles, seeking to comfort, or maybe to be comforted.  She reached for his hand, unable to pull her gaze from the enormous serpent stretched across the valley below, at the creature that could not be and yet was, and she realized she should be filled with dread.  But it was something else entirely that pressed against her ribs and somersaulted under her skin.  It was exhilaration. Large as half the village, the serpent oracle was still as stone, impossibly dark.  Dark as all the tales told, rejecting the light of all four moons in…