The final line
up for the second issue is decided and you can see a taster below...
in the approximate order they will appear in the finished zine.
by Daevid Ford
Issue Two was published
Monday 26th January 2009
First is Crestfallen, wonderful words and artwork by Ana Héau
By Glynn Barrass
Running for his life, stumbling and squeezing through the low branches and weeds, the mud floor quickly turned slippery beneath his bare and unshod feet.
The pursuers were not far behind.
His chest throbbing and aching, every panting breath became an orchestra of agony as he dragged air into his swollen, bloated lungs. Stopping, he ducked behind a nearby trunk, the soggy wet bark pressing intimately against his sweat soaked back. With looming black dots swarming before his vision, he calmed his shuddering body by force of will alone, slowly dissipating the shakes swimming through his fear-racked frame.
The sudden crashing sound of his pursuers made him stumble forward in terror, as all around him the trees and bushes shook in the wake of their oncoming wrath. Dirty and shaken he continued his desperate escape, the monstrous creatures at his heels, screeching and howling in rage whilst trampling everything in their path.
By Suzanne Jackson
From here I can see my home and my village clearly. My house is the third dwelling. A bit to the left, down at the foot of the valley.
The elders and my family will be looking for me soon. My mother has already taken out the dress and finished the very last stitch with a trembling hand. I can hear music, preparations for the festival rising up from the huts below; this is my village, my people. There is laughter. There will be dancing. Today is a special day, an honour, a tradition. But I am terrified.
By Amelia Goodwin
The Hex Factor
By Jason V Brock
“That girl ain’t stealin’ ma thunder no more! That’s why I hired you, Mr. Blackwood.”
Rupert Blackwood winced on hearing this; he leaned forward over the conference table, too aware of the clock ticking on the far wall of the small office.
The old hag speaking across the desk leered at him from her disastrously large left eye, wiping tears from her cheek where the unblinking orb continually watered. Her face was stern and gaunt, sprouting hairs in places usually reserved for the male of the species; her mouth smacked when she spoke, as though she were thirsty. Rupert gulped hard, rubbing his own eyes sympathetically as he shouldered the weight of her gaze.
Tugging his tie, he could sense heat rising in his face; he wanted to speak, but his throat felt as if it was packed with fungus. Finally:
“Ms., please Mr. Blackwood.”
“Pardon me, of course: Ms. Stonecipher, this could be a hard case to prove at trial.” His smile was wan, fragile.
The aged woman’s face wrinkled further; she now seemed even less happy than before. Rupert glanced at the clock--which in his mind was booming, booming--but no one else appeared to notice. Another entreaty:
“Look: you said that you keep all this stuff written down, right?”
“Indeed I do.” She wiped her cheek again and adjusted her jet-black shawl.
“Well, I have to see it... For goodn-- for Pete’s sake, how can I take on a case as your lawyer if you won’t even let me see the evidence?” Rupert let this nugget sink in a moment; he hoped that her reluctance to part with her information would be daunting enough to get her to leave and give up this crazy scheme.
Cockles, Ms. Stonecipher’s black cat, glared at him with great yellow eyes, perched in her mistress’s lap. Once more, the old woman blotted at her bloodshot eye, at last turning her head away. Rupert added, exasperated:
“You can bet that won’t play with a judge, either.”
The elder gasped, looking at him again, her face softer. He blinked in response, thinking: That changes things, huh?
By Lady Marion Blackrose
Poison Ivy has come to call
Slowly creeping up a wall
Her pretty leaves spreading out
Roots taking hold for new growth to sprout
By Eric S. Brown and C.G. Davis
"There's a tale told 'round these parts; a tale whispered in the darkened corners of bars when us good ole boys have had too much to drink and start thinkin' about things. There ain't many outsiders around who've ever heard it told, but I am going to tell you, Mrs. Harper, because I think you and your husband are crazy." Sheriff Jones spat, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. A puddle of tobacco juice bubbled beside his boot as if frying on the sun baked asphalt.
"Sheriff, I am thankful for your concern..." Rachel assured the overweight, balding man, who appeared slightly annoyed if not nervous. "We've heard the stories. That's why we're here." She fanned herself with a battered copy of Newsweek, the gold bracelet on her wrist twinkling in the glaring sunlight.
Sheriff Jones shook his head. "Yeah, I know. You do this all the time." he said almost sarcastically. "But Allen woods ain't like those other places. Our stories are true."
"I hope they are." she grinned mischievously, turning to look over her shoulder at her husband emerging from the gas station store.
By Michael Fontana
So there I was, sucking on a punker’s neck, when all of a sudden comes a man sheathed in garlic, sporting a silver cross.
I had ducked into this club with the rest of the throngs. The building was jet black except with some graffiti jags of luminescent yellow and orange paint giving away the location and the name. It was a young crowd, all circling twenty years old, except for me. I’m a few hundred years old. You know the look: pale skin, red eyes, slicked back black hair, gaunt frame, body-length black trench coat, glittering fangs.
Slim Hemlock & The Giants Of Knoll
By Skadi meic Beorh
Slim Hemlock, the rolling-store man, had seen many unique things in his travels. He spent many a night sitting around campfires with Gypsies and their wild song, slept in abandoned farmhouses where, at noon-o-night, fierce Indian battles could still be heard raging through the dark, and even scooted through ghostly battlefields on his way home after a good week's work, sure he was seeing soldiers resting in their camp, and sure he'd be reckoned as the enemy.
Now, if you don't know what a rolling-store is, a rolling-store is a horse and wagon that goes around selling merchandise to them who can't get into town any time soon. The rolling-store man will sometimes take an item or two in trade, but only if it’s in real good shape. You always know when the rolling-store is coming because you can hear the wagon for miles around, sounding like tink! tinkle-tink! tink! tink!
I Must Oblige
By Teresa Ford
We kiss. Juices mingling, his skin hot against mine. I kiss his cheek, then move down to a warm neck. Lips brush velvet skin, tongue tracing a moist line along the pulsing heaven of an artery buried beneath. A hoarse whisper escapes his throat, begging for more. Does he know what he asks? I think not, but who would want to disappoint such a needy, yearning being? Not I...
Curse Of The Moon
The Crowning Of Nature
In the hour before morning, the mist hangs thick over the Carn. This is where the people live in strong little houses hewn from rain lashed granite.
The mist retreats as the sun rises. Chased down the steep inclines and across the flats where, at the edge of the swamp, it promises to remain until after dark.
It is the world acting in accordance with the base laws, so the Alchemist says. The mist, water on the air, is displaced by the fire from the sun. He is a very wise man, they all agree. They leave him amongst his books and his quills to ponder why the world turns as it does, and set out after the mist each morning.
Dancing With The Scars
By Matt Betts
Her partner was no great shakes, he was a friend of a friend that she’d just
met, but he would do. He was a warmish body at least. They took their places
on the dance floor at the appointed time. Sigura watched her partner wipe his
hands on his pants. “Nervous?” She asked.
Lendo took out a handkerchief and wiped his pale forehead with it. “No. Why?
Do I look it?”
Sigura laughed revealing her pointed teeth. “You’re fine, you’ve just been a
bit quiet that’s all.” She smoothed out his lapel. They fell into a klutzy rhythm as the band swung into an up-tempo number. She tried to get him to do more than sway, stiff-legged, in circles with no luck.
After two songs Lendo spoke up. “Pretty dress,” he said. “I like it.”
By C.J Carter-Stephenson
It was a bit of a shock when I died. One minute I was lying in a hospital bed in a paroxysm of agony, the next I was floating in the air above my spindly body, watching the panic-stricken doctors struggle to revive me. Why I was in the hospital isn’t important. It’s what happened afterwards I want to talk about.
All I did was blink, but in that second, the world as I knew it was snatched away. When I opened my eyes, I was standing beside a vast river shrouded in mist. The ground as far as the eye could see was covered in strange white stones. Bending to examine one of them, I let out a stifled cry. It wasn’t a stone at all; it was a piece of bleached bone. With a look of disgust, I cast it away.
The Gypsy Curse – Part Two
By Teresa Ford
It was morning when he awoke again, the sunlight streamed through the foliage above and shone in little moats onto the dewy earth. Paul groaned, every part of his body aching…he tried to open his eyes, but could only lift the lids a fraction…such was the swelling. He looked though the slits of his eyes at the clearing around him…it was empty, no caravan, no horse….no little girl. Tears formed in his eyes, the salty water burning his ruined flesh as they trickled down his bloodied cheeks.
He reached out a hand to steady himself as he tried to stand…every nerve screamed as his nervous system came back to life after its rest in the bliss of unconsciousness. The cool dew covered his palm, where it rested on the cool grass…a strangely soothing sensation in his ocean of pain. He looked around once more, up on his knees now…his horse stands where he left it, grazing on the sweet grass around it. He made a soft clicking sound to it, the stallion lifted its head and turned towards him…knowing was wanted, and with a few gentle jerks of its head freed the reins from the branch where they had been wrapped. It walked towards him, shaking its noble head…the large brown eyes regarded him solemnly, seeming to sense his distress.
Don't forget that if you want to read the first part of
'The Gypsy Curse' that copies of Issue One are still available.
Here is the promotional video for Issue Two
(It is in two parts due to size restrictions on youtube)
Ethereal Tales Needs YOU!
If you feel you can contribute towards the zine, then check out the submissions page for the guidelines and submission form.
We look forward to hearing from you!
(Thanks to Shelley for this great promo pic to help encourage you all to submit your stuff)