When author and founder of ALLEGORY Magazine, Ty Drago, invited me to be an associate editor, I never imagined how much I'd enjoy reading authors' work. The best part, though, is finding those fabulous stories and getting to share with an author that their story is being forwarded on to the next stage. It is almost as exciting typing those words to another writer as it is seeing those words written to me. And now, I've been promoted to Senior Editor. I look forward to many great issues of Allegory
So, if you've got short, speculative fiction (horror, sci-fi, fantasy) with compelling characters and strong narratives, we want them. For more information on our submission process and to read the latest issue, check us out at: http://www.allegoryezine.com/mainpage.htm.
And thanks to Ty for giving me this opportunity!
Here's a little sneak peek for you.
Jeb’s voice ebbed and flowed, his fear growing and sending out seedlings of dread to take root in my own chest. He must have woken the entire camp by now. I fumbled open my tent flap, stumbled outside, and zipped it shut with trembling hands. When I turned around, I knew immediately why no one put a stop to Jeb’s calls.
He wasn’t in the normal world anymore.
Neither was I.
Despite not asking for it, something twisted and bitter in this universe had bestowed it anyway. We’d been transported to the astral plane. The world was bathed in dark beauty, like velvety gauze or some tranquil digital camera filter, making everything hazy and wavery with dim blue-white light. I could actually see the air – or matter or ether or whatever it was--that made up the world around me. When I waved my hand, contrails showed its swishing progress long after I’d ceased movement. Like, whatever I was made of in this form could interact with the very construction material holding this universe together. Or, maybe whatever I was made of in this form was the very construction material of this universe.
“Oh God,” I whispered.
That meant, behind me, within the tent I’d just fled, my body lay prone. Not in sleep, and not a trance. Not dead, but not really alive either.
An empty shell.
I stared at the dark green vinyl before finally getting up the nerve to look inside. My body lay on my air mattress, curled up as if I were merely sleeping. My chest rose and fell as my organs responded to signals from the most primitive part of my brain, which kept the basic functions of human life online even though the system user had abandoned the controls.
I breathed in time with my body. I wasn’t sure if I was really moving air around in my spectral form, but the reflex to carry out the action was strong, and it still felt soothing when I blew what might be nothing out of lungs that probably weren’t there anyway. I took another deep, fake breath and closed my eyes. My brain attempted to point out the ridiculousness of this – how I still felt normal even though I was nothing but a ghost now. A spasm of laughter escaped my throat, but I swallowed it down. If I let my mind think too hard about things like where? and what? and how?, I’d crack. Game over.
Instead, I chanted Jeb’s mantra: “Just go with it.” Then I turned to face the astral plane.
Today I found out that BOTH my upcoming books are available for pre-order. You can now purchase TEN AFTER CLOSING (notice the new name?) and BROKEN CHORDS. Click the images and see for yourself!
Jessica Bayliss Blogs about reading, writing, & other fun stuff