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 Canoe Race

by Daniel and Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Stories of Camp RainFurrest, September 2011


“The first team to move their canoe to the center of the lake, as marked by an old buoy, and then return it to shore would be the winners. The bear let out a starting roar, and the race was on.”

The last camper had left.  The cabins had been swept clean of the dirt from the tramping feet of a hundred teenagers.  The dining hall had been swept and scrubbed free from the grease of a summer’s worth of meals.  The canoes had been pulled in from the lake and stowed in the boat house for winter.  The fire pit had been emptied of ash.  The gate on the road leading to Camp Riverwind had been locked.

It was finally time. Continue reading “The Canoe Race”

A Real Stand-Up Guy

by Daniel and Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Allasso, Vol. 3: Storge, April 2014


“Topher tried a few more routines, but he felt the audience growing colder and colder. He preferred to steer clear of the cat jokes, but he really wanted that money.”

Topher checked his watch and peeked out around the dusky red stage curtain.  There was a full house in the bar tonight.  If he played them right he could get all the tips he needed, and tonight could be the greatest night of his life.  Continue reading “A Real Stand-Up Guy”

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”

Magtwilla and the Mouse

Magtwilla and the Mouse
“Warm, soft, and infinitely precious, the three tiny kittens gave meaning to a life that had previously been nothing more than a fight to survive.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Allasso, Volume 2: Saudade, April 2012


Heavy with kittens, Magtwilla made a choice.  She’d been a housecat before, and she’d spent time being feral.  Although she disliked the restrictive interference of the clothed primates, she had to admit that their houses with reliable food and warmth would be the better environment for a litter of kittens.  So, Magtwilla selected a nice house and set about the work of charming the clothed primate who lived there.  In mere days, the primate took her in, strapped an offensively pink collar around her throat, and took to calling her Jenny.  Todd was laughably easy to manipulate with a simple purr.  Magtwilla felt she’d done well by her unborn kittens. Continue reading “Magtwilla and the Mouse”

The Best Puppy Ever

by Mary E. Lowd
Originally published in AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, Issue No. 15, May 2014

The Best Puppy Ever
“None of my friends at the dog park believed me when I told them that my masters had been bringing me to the hospital to have a real doctor check on my puppies.”

The hospital lights flash in my eyes, and a man wearing blue scrubs injects me with a needle.  I can’t feel my body anymore, and all I can see is his blue-clothed back and the nervous faces of my owners, Geoff and Bree, looking down at me.  I can see them holding my paws, reaching to pat my ears, but all the sensations are distant. Continue reading “The Best Puppy Ever”

High School Dogs

High School Dogs
Art by Idess (www.idessart.com)

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, March 2016


The dance was over, like most high school dances, around eleven. The music stopped, and amid barks and yips of outrage, the lights came on. Without the blasting music and strobing lights, the crowd dissolved into a mass of individual dogs standing around awkwardly. Katasha’s ears flattened, and she drifted away from the bandstand, suddenly feeling weird as the only cat in the audience. The band playing tonight, Dog-Step, didn’t exactly have a lot of feline fans. Continue reading “High School Dogs”

The Little Red Avian Alien

The Little Red Avian Alien
As Prilla listened to the others chatter, her nostrils were flooded with the remembered smell of her own favorite fledgling food: her hatch-mother’s grassberry crepelettes.

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Luna Station Quarterly, Issue 020, December 2014


It was Avian Night at the All Alien Cafe. The avian population of Crossroads Station wasn’t large, but they were vocal and social. The double winged Eechies and the puff-feathered Rennten could always be counted on to attend, since they’d evolved as colony dwellers. However, occasionally, even a traditionally solitary, long-legged Ululu would show up and regale the crowd with stories of how his people had built high-pressure nests inside all the gas giants in a thirty light-year radius of Crossroads Station before humans even noticed them. Continue reading “The Little Red Avian Alien”

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”