Weird Pairings, Lovecraft + Cthulhu-esque Rock

Weird Pairings Lovecraft_Ocean_web

About the Quote: Lovecraft is one of the masters of weird, idiosyncratic horror fiction. His iconic creation Cthulu is the embodiment of evil, an ancient tentacled thing living in the bowels of the darkest ocean, who inspires visions of elaborate cities and nameless horror in hapless humans who go investigating things better left alone, and cult worship in others even less wise. But you knew that, right?

About the Image: This perfectly Lovecraftian ocean image emerged from the depths of the internet, where it seems to be freely available as a desktop background. If it is your work, please let us know, we would love to give you credit.

The editors are currently swimming in the deep and (delightfully) horrifying depths of our open submission period, so we’re keeping it short and sweet today. Enjoy!

Cabinet of Wonders, 1.23.15

Musei Wormiani Historia

Musei Wormiani Historia

Web Fiction Reviews by Lauren Colie

This week, prepare for three deaths, a fire in a gay bar and a talking elephant. My quest this time was to find short, quick reads that pack the same eerie punch as some of the longer fare.

A Review of “Returned,” by Kat Howard, at Nightmare Magazine.


Not being dead was clearly superior to being dead…

…or so you might think. This returned-to-life girlfriend begs to differ. In a recent release from Nightmare Magazine, author Kat Howard reveals what happens when the dead would rather stay dead. She offers a word of warning to any would-be necromancer: sometimes love isn’t enough. While bringing your lady friend back to her beforelife seems like a romantic gesture, she might not appreciate the novelty. Don’t forget—when you bring back the dead, their memories come, too. Read more »

Beyond Lies the Wub, classic fiction by Phillip K. Dick

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“You spoke of dining on me. The taste, I am told, is good … But how can any lasting contact be established between your people and mine if you resort to such barbaric attitudes?”

Wub and Stars

Wub and Stars, collage by Sophia Hermes

THEY had almost finished with the loading. Outside stood the Optus, his arms folded, his face sunk in gloom. Captain Franco walked leisurely down the gangplank, grinning.

“What’s the matter?” he said. “You’re getting paid for all this.”

The Optus said nothing. He turned away, collecting his robes. The Captain put his boot on the hem of the robe.

“Just a minute. Don’t go off. I’m not finished.”

“Oh?” The Optus turned with dignity. “I am going back to the village.” He looked toward the animals and birds being drivenup the gangplank into the spaceship. “I must organize new hunts.” Read more »

See the Elephant Submissions & New Voices Contest Open

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See the Elephant Magazine is open for submissions!

We’re listening …

We are pleased to announce that short fiction submissions are now open. We broke the ice last month with stories by our editors to give you a sense of who we are and what we like. Now we are looking for work that is NOT by us.

If you are a writer of slipstream, weird, magical realist or supernatural fiction (and you are not us), we want to hear from you!

We are by authors, for authors. That means we pay pro rates to pro and semi-pro authors. We are looking for new stories and we love reprints, especially of work that is not currently available on the web. New writers can win cash prizes and publication through our contests. Check out the links below to get started.

MCP’s Style & What We’re Seeking

Short Fiction Submissions

New Voices Contest 

If you like what you see, support us by Following the Circus.

You can also help us spread the word by following and engaging on Twitter (@metacircuspress) Facebook ( and Google +.

Thank you for your support!

Without a Rope, short fiction by Nathan Alling Long


“He chose her to live over Maggy. That’s the kind of grace that won’t surrender, that arrives on the tiniest, unwanted wheels.”

Jean Louis Forain

Tightrope Walker by Jean Louis Forain

MY GIRLFRIEND JULIA WAS the daughter of a cabinet maker from Minnesota. She grew up reading more books than her parents had ever read. Her mother, a stay-at-home mom, still shopped at the shopping center near their house. Julia liked rain and played in it as a child, never catching cold. She imagined she was invincible. Grace comes to families like that, who seem so unsuspecting, but it comes on bitter, tar-caked roller skates.

Julia went on the road when she was eighteen, with her best friend Maggy. They traveled across the United States like they were maple leaves in a pond that pushed out and down into streams. They ate at diners, stole donuts from the back of bakery delivery trucks, hitched rides with men older and fatter than their fathers. Read more »

The Evolution of Reptilian Handbags, fiction by Melanie Lamaga


“The two biggest problems in Otto’s life were finding a home, and finding women with whom to copulate. In fact, the two problems seemed to go hand in hand.”


The Evolution of Reptilian Handbags by Melanie Lamaga

Lizard, public domain

One Friday, Joy fell into a horrible trance . . .

HER FALL WAS NOT a metaphor, for metaphors had vanished long ago. Some people said they’d gone extinct, like bees. Others maintained they’d never existed in the first place, like angels or altruists. In any case, these days, falling into a trance was exactly the same as falling into a very narrow, very deep ditch.

Joy had been on her way to enroll in business school. Now she found herself sinking deeper and deeper into the trance, which was made of oil, water, and red and yellow food coloring like a lava lamp. Ugly mythological creatures—gorgons, chimeras and chupacabras—floated in the gobs of oil.

Seeing the annoying, psychedelic kind of trance she’d fallen into, Joy wished mightily that metaphors did exist so that this event could be seen as a colorful representation of her state of mind. Instead, it was her reality. Read more »