Gerty and the Doesn’t-Smell-Like-a-Melon

“It was oblong-round and green with paler green stripes: it looked like a melon. But… She sniffed all around it. And, then, she sniffed all around it again. It did not smell like a melon.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Golden Visions Magazine, October 2010


Gerty had been snuffle-snorting about the melon patches all morning.  She was looking for little people to play with, but all the bugs and mice seemed to be hiding today.  Dormancy was in the air.

She tried asking a bird to play with her, but it was so high in the branches of the karillow tree that she had to shout at it.  And the master scolded her for barking.  The bird flew away anyway.  They always did.

Continue reading “Gerty and the Doesn’t-Smell-Like-a-Melon”

The Wharf Cat’s Mermaid

“Mari scratched at the crate of fish, hoping to claw out a piece of the delectable flesh she smelled inside.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in ROAR Volume 5, July 2014


The scraggly white kitten crouched, trembling, behind the crates of fish.  The smell was thick, but the scraps were thin.  She’d been skittering from one stall to the next at Fisherman’s Wharf all day, mewing for bits to eat.  Few of the vendors favored her with more than a glance.  One had chased her off with a broom. Continue reading “The Wharf Cat’s Mermaid”

St. Kalwain and the Lady Uta

“Today, though, the sound of the hoof beats kept growing closer, and St. Kalwain scented oats, mint, and the salt of sweat in the air.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in ROAR Volume 4, June 2012


Snow bent the boughs of the karillow trees, and ice silvered the soft buds at their tips.  Spring had come too early this year, and all the eager young plants would pay a price for their enthusiasm.  Flowers killed by frost.

St. Kalwain didn’t mind the snow.  His black fur was thick and warm.  He found it insufferably so whenever he kept the company of humans.  Their houses were always warmed by raging hearth fires.  Their walls held in the heat.  And they insulated themselves with layers of cloaks and clothes.  They expected him to layer himself with clothes too.  He remembered a time when he chose to wear clothes out of modesty.  Now, he preferred to sleep in the wild.  In the snow.  Alone and far from humans. Continue reading “St. Kalwain and the Lady Uta”

Sheeperfly’s Lullaby

Sheeperfly's Lullaby
“Soft-as-Snow ripped a hank of her wool out with her own teeth, and the butterfly grasped it with his six legs.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in A Glimpse of Anthropomorphic Literature, Issue 2, March 2016


Sheep tell many tales as they graze. There’s little to do in a grassy field but count the clouds, search for four-leafed clovers, and tell tall tales.  Yet, some of the sheep’s tales are true, and when Soft-as-Snow stares at the clouds with her liquid brown eyes, she isn’t counting them.  She’s searching, seeking, and hoping against hope — waiting for White Wings to return to her. Continue reading “Sheeperfly’s Lullaby”

Shreddy and the Christmas Ghost

Shreddy and the Christmas Ghost
“The colorful little lights danced in the reflection on the window, but Shreddy stared past them into the darkness of the early December night.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Anthropomorphic Dreams Podcast, AD 049, December 2012


Everything was going wrong this Christmas, and the dogs were too stupid to care.

Usually, after the Feast of the Giant Bird, Shreddy and the dogs were given table scraps to eat.  As a cat and a mediocre hunter, Shreddy relished the chance to taste the flesh of an avian larger than himself.  He looked forward to it all year.  Thus, he watched in utter horror as one of the Red-Haired Woman’s dinner guests scraped all the plates off into the trash.  No taste of turkey this year. Continue reading “Shreddy and the Christmas Ghost”

Frankenstein’s Gryphon

Frankenstein's Gryphon
“Flowers in small bouquets, mostly the yellow and white blooms of arctic poppies and snow buttercups, and other tokens such as handmade dolls or tiny flags marked most of the graves. The largest patch of freshly overturned dirt, though, bore no markings — no tokens of love.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things, November 2015


Igor the arctic fox lurched across the tundra, limping from the deadened feeling in his left hindpaw.  That paw had never fully woken up when Frankie Mouse reanimated him.  The electric surge from the lightning bolt hadn’t made it that far, but Igor was still grateful to Frankie.  Without his kindness, Igor would still be lying in an unmarked grave, forgotten and unmourned.  Instead, Igor adventured across the tundra on glorious missions in service to the most magnificent mouse throughout the land. Continue reading “Frankenstein’s Gryphon”

The Carousel of Spirits

The Carousel of Spirits
“He’d noticed the gray shimmer, like smoke or a cloud, in the corner of the carousel room a few weeks ago.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Sorcerous Signals, February 2014


The carousel turned, and Artie watched the ponies go by.  He shifted his weight as he sat on the green, metal frame bench.  It was one of many around the edges of the giant, window-walled room that housed the carousel.  Artie was beginning to think that he should upgrade the benches.  These ones looked nice, but they weren’t easy on an old man’s back. Continue reading “The Carousel of Spirits”

Cyclops on Safari

Cyclops on Safari
“He peeked out the window again and sneered at the pathetic unicorn horns. Those simple spikes were nothing to the beautiful branching of a moose’s antlers.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published by Penn Cove Literary Arts Award, June 2013


The little boy pressed his nose up against the minivan window, twisting himself up under his seatbelt.  He strained his one eye, trying to peer all the way across the golden field littered with shiny white unicorns, gamboling and playing, their manes rippling in the wind.  Danny was sure that if his parents would just let him roll down the window so he could stick his head out, he’d be able to make out a moose in the forest edge beyond.  Instead, all he could see was stupid unicorns. Continue reading “Cyclops on Safari”

One Night in Nocturnia

One Night in Nocturnia
Owls are creatures of shadow — both the shadows of trees in a darkening forest and the shadows of misremembered tales retold by forgetful minds.

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Tails of a Clockwork World: A Rainfurrest Anthology, September 2012


Mice tell a myth of fearsome creatures with scaly talons, massively muscled bodies, and sharp, hooked beaks. Death from the sky, instant death, for any mouse foolish enough to be above ground when these creatures come hunting.

The name of the myth is owl, and few mice see one and live to tell the tale. Owls are creatures of shadow — both the shadows of trees in a darkening forest and the shadows of misremembered tales retold by forgetful minds. Continue reading “One Night in Nocturnia”

All the Cats of the Rainbow

All the Cats of the Rainbow
Sarah saw her own flat Persian face reflected in the prism as it toppled out of its jerry-rigged base.

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Necromouser and Other Magical Cats, September 2015


Sarah was one of three dozen kittens who all lived in a cozy garage that had been retro-fitted into the perfect Persian cat playground. Scratching posts and cat toys littered the floor. The walls were a veritable maze of carpeted shelving — perfect for perching. Sarah ran wild with her sisters, brothers, litters worth of cousins, four aunts, mother, and grandmother. They were all fluffy, white, purebred fuzzballs just like her. She felt safe and loved. Continue reading “All the Cats of the Rainbow”