By: Alex Claw

The old stories say the universe began with a bang and a laugh from the Smiling Creator, the Joy of the Heavens, He who rolled the earth out of clay and sang to bring life to it.

The old stories are all like that. The Joyful Gods and Deities, but the world has changed. The People have put their faith in other gods and the world has turned hard and gray. Happiness has soured.

The Joyful Gods are no longer welcomed into this gray world.

There won’t be a bang and a laugh when the universe ends, but a whimper.

I Read

I found the book you always carried on my kitchen table. I’m not sure why you left it there, but I think you wanted me to find it. Of course, I opened it.

I read the words inside.

I wish I had never opened that book. I wish you had taken it with you. I wish for so many things, but I know those wishes are useless.

I can’t take back what happened and even if you meant it maliciously I don’t have any ill will toward you. The burden of the book is terrible.

I’ve begun writing my own.


The Beast lived in a castle that overlooked the village. The villagers said the Beast had been the son of the King and a witch had cursed him because he had been cruel, vain, and petty. Now the Beast prowled the empty corridors of his castle, horrifically disfigured.

With the King dead and his heir turned into the Beast, the communities and villages that made up the domain created a ruling council and began self-governing.

They blossomed into a small democracy in midst of scores of tiny kingdoms fighting for control of the land.

They were always kind to witches.


Jenny got a blank book on her birthday, a magical book. She didn’t know it was magical though.

Like any tweener, she lived daily the drama of teenagers trying to find their place in the world.

She wrote in the book nightly, all her woes, everyone who slighted her, and what she wanted done to them. The book complied.

Eloise broke her leg. Margaret choked on a dick. Sasha got fat.

Jenny’s mother found her dead one morning. In her hand she clutched Justin Bieber concert tickets.

The last words written in the book was: “I’d die for JB tix”.


One day I discovered a cardboard box in my attic. An hour later I discovered the box’s unique properties when I put some old clothes into it.

Once I closed the box, there came a shudder and a crunching sound. The moment I opened the box, the noise stopped, and the box was empty. No clothes, no trace of them.

I, of course, experimented. As long as it could fit into the box and once it was closed, the box seemed to eat it.

The box came in handy, because I was getting tired of digging graves in the desert.