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”

Shreddy and the Dancing Dragon

Shreddy and the Dancing Dragon
Night after night, the demonic PlayCube with its animated dragon summoned Shreddy’s Red-Haired Woman to it. Hour after hour, Shreddy watched her life being sucked away.

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Dragon’s Hoard, June 2015


The cardboard box, labeled Yay! PlayCube! on its sides, was more than big enough to hold Cooper, the blonde, curly-furred Labradoodle. Yet, somehow, Shreddy knew better than to hope that the Red-Haired Woman had brought in such a large, sinister box for any reason as comforting as to haul the annoying Labradoodle away. Continue reading “Shreddy and the Dancing Dragon”