December 2023

Happy Advent!

We have finished reading all stories received during our July submission period, and have sent out our acceptances and rejections. If you sent us a story and haven't heard from us, please let us know in the contact form to the left.

We open to submissions again on January 1st.

Our most recent story, "Devil in the Rain," went up on November 27th and takes place in the same universe as author D.G.P. Rector's previous story, "On Charis Station." Check it out if you haven't already!

Our next story is "Twelfth Night" by Jonathan Edward McDonald, a Christmas ghost story which will be published, appropriately enough, on Christmas Day.


Both our cats have had adventures recently. The Friday before Thanksgiving week, shortly before we both left, Maxwell executed his daring escape plan.

Maxwell's Secret Escape Route

He tore through the window screen that his perch lets him observe the neighborhood through, and snuck out of the house. We might not have noticed, except that Donald was downstairs in the living room, and Marie started to make the same yowling sound that Maxwell makes when he sees a strange cat in the yard. Donald looked out the window beside her and saw a familiar gray shape darting beneath the windows. He then went out to the enclosed porch, noticed the torn screen, and got outside just in time to see Maxwell diving for the bushes. Donald immediately shut the window to keep Marie from joining her errant brother. Being unable to retrieve Maxwell on his own, Donald called Kristin, and we went on the cathunt. We searched among the bushes surrounding the house, and when we weren't able to find him there, started to circle the block, calling his name and shaking a bag of his favorite cat treat.

Donald found him upon returning to the house, trying to get back in through the window from which he had so recently escaped. When Donald tried to grab him, Maxwell climbed the screen, but was stymied by the house's siding when he reached the top and eventually slipped and fell, at which point he was captured and returned to the house. We suspect he never made it past the bushes near the house, and was simply hiding there.

Maxwell searches for alternate escape routes. Unfortunately for him, he's indefinitely lost open window privileges.

Marie had her own adventure while we were away for Thanksgiving. We keep the doors to our offices closed, only letting the cats in under supervision and only for as long as they don't get into trouble, which rarely exceeds about five minutes. Somehow, Marie managed to get trapped in Donald's office. 

We suspect Maxwell: he's always been better at opening doors. We just didn't think he had figured out doorknobs. Having seen the cats shut doors before, usually when they play with toys by repeatedly pushing them under the door and then pulling them out again (it's the reason we have doorstoppers holding all the doors where they are allowed open), we have a fairly good idea how she trapped herself inside once it was open. We're not sure how long she was in there without food or a litterbox and only whatever water Donald had left in the glass on his desk, before our friend who was cat sitting found her there the day after Thanksgiving. Less than 48 hours, certainly, since the friend had checked in on them on Wednesday. Probably about 24 hours: long enough to need a litterbox (a box of Donald's winter socks served that purpose), not so long as to be any worse for wear. Judging by the thick layer of fur on Donald's office chair, she at least found a comfortable bed.

Marie welcomes Kristin's luggage home.

Maxwell did not seem overly concerned for his sister, as he was enjoying his monopoly on chin scritches from our friend before they began wondering why they hadn't seen Marie.

He does appreciate her as a pillow, at least.

We're not sure whether our cats' opening the office door was a fluke, or something we need to accept as a fact of life now. We've decided that, to be on the safe side, we should at least put some water dishes in our offices while we're away for Christmas. And a litterbox.

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Happy Holidays, and a Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating! 

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