Blood, Bathtub (Skyglass extra)

Right after my parents died, I met a girl. Her name was Sylvan—a name she chose for herself, she told me. She had silver hair, buzzed up close to the skull. Her ears were beautiful. Like her name, they weren’t her first. She’d cut off her old ones and bought herself a new pair, green pewter like grass froze by a first frost, with tiny flowers growing in their folds.

We met at a show. I don’t remember who was playing, didn’t care—that night, I was just there for the noise. The press. Something to keep me from drifting apart. If my parents hadn’t been freshly dead, I doubt I would have gone home with her that night. I don’t remember much of what happened at her place, but my bandmates were there; my singer Devin told me what happened. Or maybe I do remember, and it’s just easier to pretend the memories are someone else’s:

Sylvan crawled a hand under my shirt, to my spine. She turned me into a glove-puppet that jerked to her every command. When she invited me home—along with everyone at the show—I obeyed. I’m not sure I believe any of this; I’m human, not robot. Despite the mechanization of my day-in day-out. And she didn’t make me do anything. She was nice. I liked her. But Devin’s fond of stories.

There’s one thing I remember on my own: at Sylvan’s place, Fallin played on the exear all night long, so I left my headphones off.

And another memory, less important, but still significant because I claim the recall as my own:

After showing me some Blowup I didn’t really understand, Sylvan and I pulled at our clothes and tried to have sex. Maybe it was the drinking, maybe it was death still crawling beneath my skin (worms wanting out), but I couldn’t get hard for her. She laughed at me (not meanly), I apologized and stumbled into the bathroom, didn’t turn on the light, didn’t close the door, pissed in the toilet. Crawled in the bathtub, threw up. One, two, three times. Next, maybe I felt something cold on my forehead. A bottle. More alcohol. Exactly what I didn’t need, exactly what I wanted– For the cold, not the blur and buzz. (Right.) I took it without looking, kept it to my forehead. Glanced up and to the side. Some tall guy with wide shoulders and dark skin, pale orange hair snarling from his scalp down to his shoulder blades. (His name came later: Marko.) He lit a candle beside the tub. I think I remember being glad for the lack of electric light.

He sat in the tub with me, maybe even in my vomit. He was careful not to let us touch. He asked me what was wrong. I was quiet for a long time, but eventually gave him an answer: everything at home smelled like blood, but that was normal. Mom butchered goats. She used their skin to make drums.

The rest of the answer: everything was silent. There was blood in the air because there so much in the bed it had to go somewhere. None of it was goat’s blood. I told the guy how I ripped up the mattress just to see how far it went down.

Blood on knives. Blood gluing bodies together at the rhizome of their tangled fingers. Blood in the bathroom and on the door to the fridge. I still don’t know why.

I told my boots and the bathtub how I wanted to sleep forever, but not die—how pretending there was a difference was my pretense at weathering.

Then Marko made contact. Quick, just his fingertips against the back of my hand (which was hidden in my sleeve, cuff bunched anxiously in my grip). Then he said, please don’t die. Like my death might actually do damage. Though he’d never met me. Stupid.

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If you enjoyed the words above, consider checking out the rest of the novel (mine), Skyglass, which is currently being serialized over at Sparkler Monthly.

Awkward Sex Scene (Skyglass extra)

Tell me something distracting, Phoenix said.

Against my better judgment, I did:

My first kiss was drunken, and numb from the smokeless–the cold winter cigarette the girl and I were sharing. We kissed at the base of a stage. Her name was Rish. She had me up against a discarded half-stack, mouth on mine, hands flat against my ribcage, like she was trying to push me away even as we kissed. Like she was some sort of oracle.

I hadn’t expected the kiss. I was nineteen. It was my first and even though I liked her, I hadn’t really considered the possibility. But then it happened and I was half-drunk, startled–what was I supposed to do? Complain about her mouth? On mine? No, I kissed her back. Probably badly, but at the time she didn’t care. Or maybe she did and was just too nice to say.

Still, we kissed, and it was my first, and she was starbright, but I think the only reason I remember her mouth is because I could feel the music vibrate in her teeth. Months later, when I thought I was ready, we tried having sex. On several occasions. Once, we were in her yurt. It was on a roof so high up you could bury you face in the green sky. The tent was like a lung with a lantern inside; red cloth walls lit up by golden light.

We started…kissing, and…you know. When we’d lost all our clothes, she stopped. She looked at me, her stare all terrifying, and said, you’re weird. I asked why; she said I watched her eyes too much, her body not enough.

I said, but I like your eyes.

That didn’t matter, she didn’t care—she wanted me looking other places, touching other parts. She wanted my mouth on her breasts, and—just. No. They were soft and fragile and sweaty. I didn’t like it, but I wanted her to feel good.

Then she turned off the music that was playing and said, I want to hear you, just you. But the music had been the only thing holding me together. I think I actually moaned at the loss. I went soft at the loss, and she was like, really? and turned away, and then I couldn’t look at her any longer because I knew I’d screwed up. She needed someone human, and what was I? I’m like a tree, only I run on music instead of sun.

After I failed, I went outside because Rish asked me to. I stood in the dripping mist with my head in the green sky’s leaves. It was closest enough to do that. I was glad for the contact—cold, ragged, indistinct. I was choking. I forced air down my throat. It tasted of trees. Calmed me. I would try harder next time. I told myself, you will learn want, you will learn desire, you will learn lust.

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If you enjoyed the words above, consider checking out the rest of the novel (mine), Skyglass, which is currently being serialized over at Sparkler Monthly.

Storyfox update!

Updates should be coming more regularly, now that I have a month-ish reprieve from grad school. Here are a couple of ready-at-hand additions to tide the curious over until my next update, which will probably be substantial.

A couple notes:

–I’d like to do a number of interviews to accompany this project, so if there’s anyone out there who you’d like to see interviewed (or if you want to be interviewed) about fox media, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.
–Thanks go to Sonya Taaffe and Sharon Goetz; both tipped me off to a number of works this time around.
–I renamed the ‘Interdisciplinary’ section to ‘Transmedia.’ The music section needed some categorical stretching room, so it is now called ‘Audio.’
–An addition of note: I’m especially looking forward to exploring Wuxia the Fox, which looks to have a beguiling story, pleasing art, and an engrossing, inventive cross-discipline narrative framework. You can find it in the aforementioned Transmedia section.

Check out all of STORYFOX: a Database of Vulpine Science Fiction and Fantasy here!

As always, if you have anything to add, you can contact me here and on twitter.

Audio

P.L. Travers
~”The Fox at the Manger” (BBC Radio 4, 1990)

~”The Fox” (traditional ballad)

Comics/Graphic Novels

Minna Sundberg
~”A Redtail’s Dream” (2011-2013)

Film/Television

Volodymyr Kmetyk
~”Mykyta the Fox” (Pershyi Natsionalnyi)

Thomas Funck and Jan Gissberg
~”Kalle Stropp och Grodan Boll på svindlande äventyr” (Charlie Strapp and Froggy Ball Flying High) (Cinemation Industries, 1941)

Räven Boll
~”Made By Räven Boll ” (Räven Boll, 2014)

Children’s Books

P.L. Travers
~”The Fox at the Manger” (Norton, 1962)

Games and Video Games

Alana Joli Abbott
~”The Choice of Kung Fu” (Choice of Games, 2012)

BioWare
~”Jade Empire” (Microsoft Game Studios, 2005)

Nintendo EAD
~”Starfox” (Nintendo, 1993)
~”Ocarina of Time” (Nintendo, 1998)
~”Majora’s Mask” (Nintendo, 2000)

Novels

Garry Kilworth
~The Lantern Fox (Mammoth, 1998)
~Hunter’s Moon (The Foxes of Firstdark) (Unwin Hyman, 1989)

Poems

Lizzy Huitson
~”Rey” (Goblin Fruit, 2014)

Transmedia

Jonathan Bélisle
~”Wuxia the Fox” (2014)

Storyfox update! (many foxes)

Meant to get this up last week, and then grad school happened. Lots of good stuff to check out, including a couple fox-related projects that are a bit off-the-beaten-path, which lead me to create a new section: Interdisciplinary Projects (you’ll find the additions to that section at the bottom of this page, as well as on the main database page). One of those projects was facerig‘s Cathy the Red Fox which you should check out just…because. It’s neat, I suppose, but…I’m also not quite sure what to think of it. Check it out for yourself. Personally, I found it interesting in tandem with my thesis. Sexualized foxes, you are everywhere.

Thanks this week go to Sonya Taaffe. You can find other collectors of fox-stories here.

Check out all of STORYFOX: a Database of Vulpine Science Fiction and Fantasy here!

As always, if you have anything to add, you can contact me here and on twitter.

Storyfox update: Games and Video Games

facerig
~“Cathy the Red Fox” (2014)

Storyfox update: Poems

Asunción Alvarez
~”Mr. Fox” (Ideomancer 5.1, 2006)

Margaret Atwood
~”Fox/Fire Song” (Poetry, 1974)

Lisa M. Bradley
~”The Messenger Ensnared” (Polu Texni, 2012)

C.S.E. Cooney
~”The Grand Finale of Mr. Fox” (Papaveria Press, 2011)

Caitlyn Paxson
~”The Tall House of Mr. Fox” (Scheherezade’s Bequest #13, 2011)

Hannah Sanghee Park
~”The Fox Bead in May” (Poetry, 2013)

Janice D. Soderling
~”The Fox” (The Pedestal Magazine #53, 2009)

Ellen Steiber
~”The Fox Wife” (Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears, AvoNova/William Morrow, 1995)

Storyfox update: Short Fiction

Richard Parks

~”Three Little Foxes” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #105, 2012)
~”The Ghost of Shinoda Forest” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #63, 2011)
~”Fox Tails” (Realms of Fantasy 11.5, 2005)

KZ Morano
~”Kitsune” (Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction, 2014)

Anne-Sylvie Salzman
~”Fox into Lady” (Darkscapes, 2013)

Alexandra Seidel
~”A Quest for Fire” (Lackington’s #3, 2014)

Storyfox update: Novels

Christopher Barzak
~The Love We Share Without Knowing (Bantam, 2008)

Irma Chilton
~”String of Time” (Macmillan Education Ltd., 1968)

Richard Parks
~The Heavenly Fox (PS Publishing, 2011)

Ellen Steiber
~Shadow of the Fox (Random House, 1994)

Storyfox update: Comics/Graphic Novels

Neil Gaiman and Yoshitaka Amano
~Sandman: The Dream Hunters (Vertigo, 1999)

Storyfox update: Interdisciplinary Projects

Kate Davies and Emmanuel Vercruysse
~”The Crepuscular” (article here) (LiquidFactory, 2007)

Sylvia Linsteadt
~The Gray Fox Epistles (2013–)

 

 

 

Storyfox Update! all the rest

Last Storyfox update for the week; this one’s kind of anything-goes. Music, short fiction, poetry, a Magic card. Today’s thanks go to Merav, Francesca Forrest, and Sonya Taaffe (who recently sent me more, which be added next week).

Check out all of STORYFOX: a Database of Vulpine Science Fiction and Fantasy here!

As always, if you have anything to add, you can contact me here and on twitter.

Storyfox update: Games and Video Games

Foxfire” (Magic card; Magic the Gathering, 1997)

Storyfox update: Poetry

Mike Allen
~”Reynard the Revenant” (Goblin Fruit, 2009)

J.C. Runolfson
~”Foxhunt” (Lone Star Stories, 2008)

Joshua Gage
~”Kitsune(Goblin Fruit, 2008)

Ruth Jenkins
~”Feral” (Goblin Fruit, 2012)

Storyfox update: Fiction

Angela Boord
~”Maenad” (Lone Star Stories #7, 2005)

Ken Liu
~”Good Hunting(Strange Horizons, 2012)

Kate MacLeod
~”Tale of a Fox“(A Fly in Amber #17, 2010)

Ashe Thurman
~”Kitsune no Yomeiri” (Flash Fiction Online, 2014)

Catherynne Valente
~”Ink, Water, Milk” (The Melancholy of Mechagirl; Haikasoru, 2013)

Storyfox update: Music

“Anna and the Magic Gown” The Kennedys (Koch, 2003)

Storyfox update: Children’s Books

Laurence Yep
~The Ghost Fox (Scholastic, 1994)

Brian Jacques

Storyfox Update! Poetry

This week’s third installment of Storyfox is poetic. Much gratitude to David Lunde, Gwynne Garfinkle, and Sonya Taaffe for pointing me towards these pieces. For those who have contributed in the past, see the collectors page. Want to see your name there? Send me foxes!

Another update will occur tomorrow, tying up the loose ends of this week’s massive update to the database.

Check out all of STORYFOX: a Database of Vulpine Science Fiction and Fantasy here!

As always, if you have anything to add, you can contact me here and on twitter.

Foxfoxfox.

Storyfox, poetry update (SO MANY POEMS. And there are more to come.)

Mike Allen
~”Hungry Constellations” (Hungry Constellations, 2014)
~”The Fox Smiled, Famished“: (Goblin Fruit #31, 2013)

Amal El-Mohtar and Nicole Kornher-Stace
~”The Maiden to the Fox Did Say” (Lone Star Stories #32, 2009)

Neil Gaiman
~”The White Road” (Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears, William Morrow & Company, 1995)

Theodora Goss
~”The Fox Wife“(Tor.com, 2013)

Yoon Ha Lee
~”Foxfeast” (Mythic Delirium 0.2, 2013)

Jeannine Hall Gailey
~”The Animal Heart: She Warns Him” (Mythic Delirium #21, 2009)

Samantha Henderson
~”Queen Elizabeth and the Fox” (Goblin Fruit #5, 2007)

Ted Hughes
~”The Thought Fox” (Faber and Faber; The Hawk in the Rain, 1957)

Sandi Leibowitz
~”Unmasking” (Mythic Delirium 0.4, 2014)

Rose Lemberg
~”A body that is bold to come” (Goblin Fruit #27, 2012)

David Lunde
~”Not Thinking of a Fox” (The Louisville Review #63, 2008; Instead, 2007)

Alex Dally MacFarlane
~”Sister” (Through the Gate #1, 2012)
~”In the Sun-Sweet Desert” (Goblin Fruit #27, 2012)
~ “The Jar-Mouthed Fennec” (Goblin Fruit #17, 2010)

Mari Ness
~”Petals“(Bull Spec #6, 2011)

Jamieson Ridenhour
~”Foxes” (Strange Horizons, 2011)

J.C. Runolfson
~”Kumiho” ((Going Going) GONE, 2009)

Mary A. Turzillo
~”The Shrine at Fushimi Inari” (Goblin Fruit #17, 2010)

Storyfox Update! Novels and Music

Second Storyfox update of the week, this time novels and music. Thanks again go to Sonya Taaffe for her many suggestions, and to Judy Guttormsen. In case you missed it, I’ve added a collectors page, where you can see who’s contributed to the database. Want to see your name there? Send me foxes!

Come back tomorrow for lots and lots of poetry.

Check out all of STORYFOX: a Database of Vulpine Science Fiction and Fantasy here!

As always, if you have anything to add, you can contact me here and on twitter.

 

STORYFOX, novel update:

Larissa Lai
~When Fox Is a Thousand (Press Gang, 1995)

Andre Norton
~The White Jade Fox (Dutton, 1975)

Victor Pelevin
~The Sacred Book of the Werewolf (Eksmo, 2005)

Susan Cooper
~The Grey King (Chatto & Windus and Atheneum, 1975)

David Garnett
~Lady into Fox (Chatto & Windus, 1922)

Dennis L. McKiernan
~Voyage of the Fox Rider (Roc, 1993)

 

STORYFOX, music update:

The Fox” Ylvis (TVNorge, 2013)

The Old Bitch Fox

Revontulet” Sonata Arctica (Spinefarm, 2001)

Reynardine” (traditional ballad)

Räven” Hedningarna (Resistencia, 1994)