And yes, it's the dark fairy tale issue.
If you know me, you understand why that is perfect.
I've read the magazine and there are some delightfully wondrous and oh-so-dark retwistings of fairy tale in these digital pages. So far my favorites, other than my own story (because: of course), are Eric J. Guignard's "A Kiss and a Curse," a Beauty and the Beast retelling of dire consequence, the narrative poem "Et je ne pleurais jamais les larmes cicatrisantes magiques; c’est seulement un mensonge joli: Arne-Thompson Index No. 310" by Elizabeth McClellan featuring a Rapunzel with agency and engineering on her side, and Rhonda Eikamp's "The Men in the Walls," which is also very, very dark. Well, they're all dark. This is, after all, the dark fairy tale issue. But there's a delight in these dark stories that my brain keeps turning over and over. I love the twists and shapes of these tales.
My piece, "Candy, Shoe, and Skull; Sallow Flowers Plucked Like Chains,"really came about because I kept picking at the notion of where fairy tales come from, then applied that to the modern world.
We're all just dark and twisty beings who don't understand what's going on.
The other notion is that humans craft fairy and folktales as a coping device -- the tale itself is a means of understanding the world we live in. This notion draws mythology and fables in under the same explanation even though folklorists like to firmly divide folklore, fairy tale, myth, fable, tall tale, etc. into their own groups. But the notion is that we tell origin stories to explain why the sea is salt or why the sun chases the moon across the sky. We also tell stories that are warnings: don't take candy from stranger houses, be careful or a fox will trick you out of your riches, nobody likes vain mean girls. Beauty and the Beast tale types are generally seen to convey the hope make the best of a bad arranged marriage and maybe it'll get better.
When strange things happen, we seek explanation. What goes on when people leave civilization? What is out there? What happens to children who wander off from town?
Letting it unravel to its furthest logical outcome.
I hope you'll pick up a copy of Niteblade and see the story for yourself as well as the other great offerings in the issue. It's well worth the $2.99 to get the ebook or PDF edition. But since we're talking about money . . .
Niteblade has an interesting sales model: Once they reach $50 of sales and/or donations for an issue, the stories and poems unlock and become available online as well as continuing in their for-purchase avenues such as Amazon Kindle. (N.B. The sidebar meter does not appear to be updating in real-time, rather it's a once-a-day update. I think.)
So go forth, and unlock the dark fairy tale goodness.