Said the Ticktockman, The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jackalope_Wives&oldid=968461755, Nebula Award for Best Short Story-winning works, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "Forever Yours, Anna" by Kate Wilhelm (1988), "Bible Stories for Adults, No. He looked down at the stone in front of him. Ursula Vernon's short story Jackalope Wives adapts the myth for the American southwest by exchanging seals for jackalopes. *THANK YOU. The sun started to sink and the wind hissed and the jackalope wife was asleep or dead. When couples argue about porn, they're usually arguing about something else. It’s part of a dance as old as the jackalopes themselves. “I ain’t got the patience for coyotes. https://www.unz.org/Pub/Forum-1936jan – but the TOC is wrong: use Sand and sky and shadow and stone. He was so still that it made Grandma’s eyes water, and she had to look away. “Not them either,” she said to the jackalope wife. My friends and I spent several minutes chatting on Skype swooning over this story. “It was easier that way,” she said. Apex Magazine is a genre zine that focuses on dark and spectacular science fiction, fantasy, and horror. His knuckles were raw and blistered. Her horns were short, sharp spikes on her brow. by jackalope. They danced like young deer pawing the ground, they danced like devils let out of hell for the evening. From down in the desert, they heard the first notes of a sudden wild music. Eventually the girls learn better. The jackalope wife stirred and stretched. Jackalope Wives is a 2014 fantasy short story by Ursula Vernon, combining the legends of the swan maiden and the jackalope. Loved it. You don’t have to do it. If you were lucky, you might catch a whole line of them outlined against the sky, on the top of a bluff, the shadow of horns rising off their brows. “Your Saint Anthony, now… him I think I’ve seen. And the second one was better.”. Between Grandma’s hands, the pulse beat steady and strong. He was naked and his skin was covered in painted diamonds. 3.1 k. Keyword Opportunities . “Better all the way human than this. “Let me in,” he said. He bit her on the forearm, where the thick veins run, and sank his teeth in up to the gums. “Suppose he does it,” said the Father of Rabbits. The jackalope wife paused, leaning on her crutch, and looked up at the wings with longing. "The Tomato Thief" (sequel to "Jackalope Wives") features a foreign god who transforms people into birds and thereby forces them to do his bidding. Easy-to-Rank Keywords 273 . “Shit,” said the Father of Rabbits. “But you know I’ve always had a soft spot for you, Maggie Harken.”. Grandma Harken sat back. Regardless, Wired points out that an ancient Persian geographic dictionary from the 1200s depicted a rabbit with a single, unicorn-esque spike on its head. You couldn’t even get too close or they’d take fright and run away. A man came around the edge of the standing stone. The jackalope wife’s eyes went wide and her body shook with longing, but it was human longing and a human body shaking. There’s always one who learned how to brood early and often, and always girls who think they can heal him. “He’s one of the Patterned People, and they only know the one way.”. Although the creature is fictitious, mounted jackalope heads are often created by attaching deer antlers to a jackrabbit's head. They were shy creatures, the jackalope wives, though there was nothing shy about the way they danced. The small sickle horns were hard weights in her hands. The jackalope wife lay still in the shadows, with only her thin ribs going up and down. “You — you can fix her, right?”, Grandma let out a high bark, like a bitch–fox, barely a laugh at all. Nebula Award winner, WSFA winner, World Fantasy Award finalist, Cóyotl Award winner, Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™, A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of…, each thing i show you is a piece of my death, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Memphis Minnie Sing the…, Bonus 2021 International Fantasists Issue, https://apex-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/apex07.mp3, https://www.unz.org/Pub/Forum-1936jan-00027, https://www.unz.org/Pub/Forum-1936jan-00054. Grandma Harken stepped forward. Saw this story recommended on io9 (I think), and mistook it for Ursula LeGuin at first, marking it to read later. I’m glad to read a good American faerytale. The jackalope wife let out another sob and tried to curl back into a ball. A hummingbird zipped inches from her head, dabbing its bill into the flowers, and the jackalope’s face turned, unsmiling, to follow it. We will be charitable. The moonbeams went shattering down to the ground and the jackalope wives took off their skins and danced. A raven croaked overhead and another one snickered somewhere off to the east. A coyote watched them from up on the hillside. found this story thanks to this year’s list of nebula nominees. She let out a breath she didn’t know she’d been holding. She was calm. “Besides, it’s not your life he’s owed.”. Don’t suppose you can fix her up?” It cost Grandma a lot of pride to say that, and the Father of Rabbits tipped his chin in acknowledgment. “I suppose she can’t walk?”, “Not well,” said Grandma. And the others were long gone by then and couldn’t stop her. “He didn’t ask for a life.”, The Father of Rabbits grinned. “He didn’t mean to do her harm.”, Grandma let out an explosive snort. He understood about deserts.”, Grandma’s lips twisted. “I grabbed the skin — I mean — it was right there — she was watching — I thought she wanted me to have it —”. All I can do is pick up the pieces.”. It was first published in Apex Magazine and has been reprinted in the collection Jackalope Wives and Other Stories. They were beautiful creatures, with their long brown legs and their bodies splashed orange by the firelight. by jackalope. Jackalope Wives and Other Stories by T. Kingfisher is a collection of short stories by the author (real name Ursula Vernon). “Well,” she said. “Pulled it out of a fire once — must have been forty years ago now. Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Apex Magazine. Wow. Grandma Harken bowed to him, because the Patterned People can’t hear speech. But in this town at this time, the girls hadn’t learned and the boy hadn’t yet worn out his interest. Didn’t expect what we discovered about Grandma. Grandma Harkness is one of the best characters I have come across in a long time. Grandma Harken, who lived down past the well, said that the jackalopes were the daughters of the rain and driving them off would bring on the drought. We’re nearly there.”. She danced farther out from the others and her horns were short and sharp as sickles. And the jackalope wife had one thought only and pulled on the burning hide —. “Tell your mother to make up a poultice for your hands. Founded in 1976 by Darby McQuade, Jackalope has been in operation in New Mexico for nearly 45 years. This reminds me of some of Ursula K. Le Guin’s stuff – “Buffalo Gals” in particular. Clumsy. It was half–full, half–new, halfway between one thing and the other. Posted Jul 19, 2017 And even that might not knock some sense into him. “What have you done?” she said. Analysis: Jackalope, as the name suggests, is thought to be a mysterious animal with jack rabbit's body and an antelope's or deer's antlers. Short Fiction Spotlight Short Fiction Spotlight: The Second Life of the Jackalope Wife. The mouse he scooped up in two fingers and dropped into his mouth. But then it’s just the right thing and I’ll have to go read everything else. Where or which isn’t ever clear, which I do not mind as it doesn’t matter to the story. They danced like young deer pawing the ground, they danced like devils let out of hell for the evening. Sweet mother Mary, boy, think about what you’re doing! As if it were a reason. “Better for her, or better for you?” asked Eva, who was only a fool about her son and knew her mother well. Absolutely magnificent. “He might want a life, you know. I suppose we’ve done as much as humans can do, and now it’s up to somebody else.”, She went out into the garden and found the jackalope wife asleep under the stairs. The jackalope wife stirred on the hearth and made a sound between a whimper and a sob. The closest naturally occurring equivalent is a rabbit infected with the Shope papilloma virus which causes horn-like protrusions to appear from the animal. “You’re supposed to. “I found where he hid it after he died and I burned it myself. If you haven’t read it, you must. Does anyone have the themes of this story? Pull 'em up. “It’ll do,” she said. He sank down in her chair, all his grace gone. The fur across her breasts and belly was singed. The air was cool and gray. “You were a hell of a dancer,” said the Father of Rabbits. You have a wonderful understanding of the dark side of fairy tales. Beautiful in every way. Jackalope Wives, by Ursula Vernon Jackalope Wives is the first pure fantasy story nominee for the Nebula that I have read this year. Latest Posts. Really well told in the fairy tale format, but with that extra grit in the characters of the desert. “Wake up.”. She looked up at them both with wide, uncomprehending eyes. She dumped the cat off her lap and stomped to the door. Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Apex Magazine. A little magic is worse than none, for it draws the wrong sort of attention. That’s just what we need.”. She leapt up and darted away, circled back once and bumped Grandma’s hand with her nose — and then she was bounding down the path from the top of the bluff. She pulled a dead mouse out of a mousetrap and took a half–dozen cigarettes down from behind the clock. Oh blessed Saint Anthony, you’ve caught a jackalope wife.”. Linked @ favorite board. Story: Jackalope is a dangerous animal with jack rabbit's body and an antelope's antlers! To keep them changing.”. “What did you do to her?”, “Don’t look at that and tell me ‘Nothing!’ What in the name of our lord did you do to that girl?”, He stared down at his blistered hands. Stars: Bill Switzer, Daniel Clark, Deborah Odell, Lindy Booth. Her children scraped their tusks together and grunted. “Get out,” said Grandma wearily. It doesn’t matter what he meant to do. The door slammed shut, and left her alone with the wreckage of the jackalope wife. “Let me in, let me in, oh god, Grandma, you have to help me, it’s all gone wrong —”, Grandma took two steps back, while he half–dragged the jackalope into the house. Other writers will tell you to revel in the vast expanse of language. I wonder about Spud meeting up with the Father of … of any people. It was her own grandson, her daughter Eva’s boy. “You weren’t there! “Oh, you goddamn stupid fool. He’d been crying and there was dust on his face, stuck to the tracks of tears. He picked up the cigarettes that the Patterned Man had left behind and offered one to Grandma. He sat down beside her on his heels. Jackalope Wives and Other Stories (Book) : Kingfisher, T. : Winner of the Nebula and WSFA Short Fiction Awards. Out of curiosity, why didn’t you publish it as T. Kingfisher? * I have been trying to find that story again for *ages. His grandmother used to tell him that it was a miracle he hadn’t been drowned as a child, and for her he’d laugh, but not for anyone else. The fool boy had been so shocked he’d yanked the burning skin back out. We are from the arts, not television or film. Come on.”. But she screamed — she wasn’t supposed to scream — nobody said they screamed — and I thought she was dying, and I didn’t want to hurt her — I pulled it back out —”, He looked up at her with his feverish eyes, that useless, beautiful boy, and said “I didn’t want to hurt her. The smart ones heave themselves back to shore and the slower ones wake up married with a husband who lies around and suffers in their direction. Lucky daughter to miss out on the extremes. Other young men eyed him with dislike. They were set too wide apart in a human face, with a cleft lip and long rabbit ears. Damn, Ursula. Or better yet, left her alone and never gone out in the desert at all.”. She looked away from Eva’s weak, wise eyes. Well written, which is rare, and engaging. What makes it stand out of them all is the touch of a magical authenticity which is rare when you infuse myth with the real world. Either she’d raised a fool for a daughter or not, and likely she wouldn’t be around to tell. Description. Jackalope Wives. Stories about it are said to be centuries old, but nonetheless, there are questions about the existence of this strange and scary creature. Too many stones in your belly now.” He shook his head regretfully. They kept the dogs tied up and their brash sons occupied. “She was waiting for me!” he said. She rolled both her sleeves up to the elbow and offered him her wrists. People said they didn’t believe a word of it, but when you live in a desert, you don’t take chances. Now, it happened there was a young man in town who had a touch of magic on him. New issues are released every two months. “No. When the wild music came through town, a couple of notes skittering on the sand, then people knew the jackalope wives were out. Well done, as always. The jackalope wife looked up at him, recoiled, and Grandma laid a hand on her arm. “Get lonely down there in your town, Maggie?” he asked. The cigarettes he ignored. But the jackalope wife was the color of dust and she still had a wild animal’s stillness. When a young man accidentally mutilates a jackalope wife, his Grandma Harken takes charge of her. 99 $12.95 $12.95. The jackalope wife looked at her with doe–dark eyes and didn’t move, and if she were a human, Grandma Harken would have itched to slap her. Nox Q&A Goals. “Still am,” said Grandma Harken, and she flung the jackalope skin over the shoulders of the human jackalope wife. I look forward to purchasing this when it appears in e-print! Jynx. “Suppose we’ll find out,” said the Father of Rabbits, and nodded. Brilliant! Look at me! We’d both be dead of old age before they’d figured out what time to start.”. Maybe we smell alike, thought Grandma. Grandma Harken nodded, content. This is the bit where you get a choice. “You think you can have your skin and your freedom burned away in front of you and not scream? “I threw it in the fire,” he said. Kelly Mousepad. Jackalope Wives. “Oh Mary,” she said. For the jackalope wives were shy of humans. Sad, sweet, and beautiful. Everybody knows. Optimization Opportunities 76 . Well, if you can find a place where they’ve been dancing, you might see something like sidewinder tracks in the dust, and more than that I cannot tell you. Perhaps he found her as interesting as the girls found him. And on the half–moon, when new and full were balanced across the saguaro’s thorns, they’d come down to the desert and dance. “Jesus, Mary and Joseph! I’d been — we’d — I watched her, and she knew I was out there, and she let me get up close — I thought we could talk —”. He dropped her down in front of the hearth and grabbed for his grandmother’s hands. I have read Anasi Boys and I have read a little Sandman both by Neil Gaiman, Jackalope Wives puts me in mind of both. P.S. The next second, they’d snatch up their skins and there’d be nothing left but a dozen skinny she–rabbits running off in all directions, and a campfire left that wouldn’t burn out ’til morning. Jackalope easily meets the 25% occupancy requirement even on our busiest day. Jackalope Wives And Other Stories. Perhaps he thought she might understand him. Grandma had to half–carry the jackalope wife at the end. His hair was silver gray as a rabbit’s fur. Beautifully written. There were burnt patches on her arms and legs, a long red weal down her face. Winner of the Nebula and WSFA Short Fiction Awards. Includes The Tomato Thief winner of 2017 Hugo Award – Best Novelette From award-winning author T. Kingfisher comes a collection of short stories, including Jackalope Wives, The Tomato Thief, Pocosin, and many others. He would slip away early, before the dance was ended, and never marked the eyes that followed him and wished that he would stay. “Suppose he sheds that skin right off her. Really wonderful piece, lots of layers told with beautiful prose. I loved it. This story read like a poem. Quite happily surprised to find it was Vernon, not LeGuin! by jackalope. “Grandma! There ought to have been one, at least, smart enough to know that you didn’t put on a half–burnt rabbit skin. Because the skin is still connected to the creature, it causes her unbearable pain. It had come down to him on his mother’s side, as happens now and again, and it was worse than useless. “Where’d you get that?” asked Grandma Harken, suspicious. Thank you. We may limit the number of people we allow into our buildings if there is a sudden spike of visitors. “The rabbit skin. (And now you will ask me about the musicians that played for the jackalope wives. Grandma wasn’t fooled for a minute. How The Sad Puppies Won — By Losing A group of conservative sci-fi fans and writers took over the Hugo Award nominations this year, then lost … Ursula, you have quite the way with words. Relax, child. Too late now. “She doesn’t have to stay human, you know,” said the Father of Rabbits. Specifically, closer to the end where Harken quotes “It’s different when you got a choice,” (Vernon 2014). “I’ve seen you kill chickens. What marketing strategies does Abyssapexzine use? Rabbit legs weren’t meant for it, but she walked three steps and the Patterned Man opened his arms and caught her. I sometimes wonder if Yankees or easterners feel it the same. “Grandma —”, She ignored him and dropped to her knees. She stank of urine and burning hair. The town got into the habit of having a dance that night, to keep the boys firmly fixed on human girls and to drown out the notes of the wild music. Her pulse went fast then slow. Grandma was old and carrying water for two, and the girl was on a crutch. But there was nothing to be done for the shape of the jackalope’s face, or the too–wide eyes, or the horns shaped like a sickle moon. You’ve got a human left over, not a jackalope wife.”, Grandma stared down at her bony hands. Halfway through the story you had me wishing for the ending I wanted, and was happier with the one I got. The Mary Sue is pleased to present strange, beautiful new fiction from Apex Magazine each month. In " Jackalope Wives," there's something so seductive about the dance of the skin-changers in the desert. by jackalope. The hummingbird buzzed away. Issue content is made available for free on this website via piecemeal over the two months between issues. Lovely and a bit haunting in all the right ways. The jackalope wife had tried, once, and the noises she’d made were so terrible that it had reduced them both to weeping. I read it…then read it again. “You goddamn stupid fool,” she said. He looked at her and the Father of Rabbits and the jackalope wife. Well. The ravens croaked a conversation to each other, from the branches of a palo verde tree, and whatever one said made the other one laugh. “You get over what you can’t have faster then you get over what you could. Favorite poems include Godmother and This Vote Is Legally Binding. “Never seen that before.” He lit a cigarette and blew the smoke into the air. Paperback $12.95 $ 12. I will be haunted by the beautiful images you paint of the characters. “It happens I might have a spare skin,” said the Father of Rabbits. “Come on,” she said. She exhaled very slowly. Forehead on it wall, and they only know the one way. ” competitive analytics Abyssapexzine! Free Trial husband much, ” she said a wonderful understanding of human... 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