Sheeperfly’s Lullaby

by Mary E. Lowd

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


“Butterflies don’t live as long as sheep, and Soft-as-Snow feared her tiny daughter would die. So she sang White Wings lullabies filled with sadness and fear, hope and protection, woven through and through with love.”

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

by Mary E. Lowd

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


“Shreddy’s dreams were haunted by sparkling mouse eyes. They hung on the Christmas tree, replacing the colored lights.”

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

by Mary E. Lowd

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


“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.”

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

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Sorcerous Signals, February 2014


“When the first star appeared in the purple sky, the stillness in the room changed. Wooden bodies that had stood stiff all day shifted, flexing muscles, drawing in breaths through carved nostrils.”

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

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published by Penn Cove Literary Arts Award, June 2013

“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.”

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

by Mary E. Lowd

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


“In my own eyes, my mouse life was nothing more than grist for the mill of Nocturnia’s stomachs. Yet, those stomachs were connected to hearts that loved my kind for our sacrifice. Was I the monster?”

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

by Mary E. Lowd

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


“A harmony of meows — higher pitched from Violet, Blue, and Indigo; subtly lower from Red — expressed surprise and confusion. All seven of Sarah looked at each other with wide green eyes, unchanged by the prism.”

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”

Cold Tail and the Eyes

Cold Tail and the Eyes
He tried to outwait the hunger, but it grew instead of going away. If the hunger wouldn’t leave, then Gray Tail would have to.

by Mary E. Lowd

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


One day, Mama Cat didn’t come back to her nest under the porch. She didn’t bring warm mice, freshly caught, for Gray Tail and his brothers to eat. She didn’t wash their faces and scold them for scuffling. She didn’t settle down, all warm on her side, for them to cuddle up next to. She simply wasn’t there at all. Continue reading “Cold Tail and the Eyes”

Songs of Fish and Flowers

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Lakeside Circus, March 2015


“She blinked her sun-dazzled eyes, surprised to see that, though the roses didn’t sing, they changed color.”

Pink roses twisted their petals, soaking in the afternoon sun. Red begonias and calla lilies decorated the edges of the rose beds. And, Carly, a white-faced calico sunned herself in the grass, enjoying the subtle scent of mint, rosemary, and catnip that drifted to her on the gentle wind. Continue reading “Songs of Fish and Flowers”

Shreddy and the Carnivorous Plant

Shreddy and the Carnivorous Planet
Shreddy liked chewing on plants. He wasn’t so sure he liked the idea of plants who did their own chewing.

by Mary E. Lowd

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


Shreddy was a tabby cat who liked to chew on plants. In the distant, glorious past, his owner had kept orchids in her kitchen window. These days, though, the Red-Haired Woman kept the house empty of plants. Shreddy had to roam the neighborhood, sampling the grasses, weeds, flowers, and herbs in other house’s gardens to get his fix of greens. His favorites were parsley, sage, thyme, and, of course, catnip. Continue reading “Shreddy and the Carnivorous Plant”