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IN THIS ISSUE:

MAIN PAGE

ARTICLES

  "Allegory Goes Bi-Annual!"
      by Ty Drago

FICTION

  "A Blue Blood Lady"
      by Gwendolyn Kiste

  "Sapience and Maternal Instincts "
      by Krystal Claxon

  "Pherusa Among the Stars"
       by Michael Haynes

  "The Czech is in the Mail"
      by Christopher J. Ferguson


  "Odyne"
      by S.L. Gilbow


  "Black Mark on the Soul"
      by Sarina Dorie

  "A Very Dynamic Field"
      by Deepak Bharathan

  "Fast Food Fish Fatale"
      by Jason Feingold

  "Just Around the Corner"
      by Alexei Collier

  "Dust"
      Preston Dennett

  "La Noche de Los Muertos"
      by Donald Jacob Utivlugt

STAFF SHOWCASE
  "Novelette Preview: THE UNDERTAKERS:
      LAST SIEGE OF HAVEN"
      by Ty Drago

  "Novelette Preview: THE WRITING
      CLASS"
      by Kelly Ferjutz


  "Novel Preview: CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS"
      by J.E. Taylor

 "Novel Preview: DOME WARRIORS"
      by J.E. Taylor

  "Novel Preview: WAGERED KISS"
      by Hetty St. James

HONORABLE MENTIONS

LINKS
  Resources for Writers
  Associations for Writers
  Writers' Sites
SPONSORS

COVER ART
THE WRITINGS OF TY DRAGO
NAME IN LIGHTS AWARD

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COVER ART:

Copyright:
subbotina / 123RF Stock Photo

THE WRITINGS OF TY DRAGO:


"THE UNDERTAKERS:
Secret of the Corpse Eater"
Month9Books, March, 2014

Trouble brews in DC as a mysterious monster haunts the Capitol, killing Corpses. Can the enemy of his enemy be Will's friend?.

"THE UNDERTAKERS:
Night of Monsters"
Smashwords, April, 2013

Will and the Undertakers spend a single night trying to thwart a terrifying new Corpse plot involving twins, maggots, and menace.

"THE UNDERTAKERS:
Queen of the Dead"
Jabberwocky, October 2012

Will and the Undertakers face a new and terrible enemy is this, the second book in the Undertakers series.

"THE UNDERTAKERS:
Rise of the Corpses"
Jabberwocky, April 2011

Will Ritter becomes relucantly involved in a war between children and an invasion of animated corpses.

"THE LITERARY HANDYMAN" by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
I was honored to write the introduction to this collection of valuable essays on writing.
"Yesterday, I Will"
Fortress Publishing, 2010

Anthology Grandmaster
My story, "Yesterday I Will Remember Tomorrow" tells the tale of a young man who finds himself living his life backwards

"PHOBOS"
Tor Books, 2003/2004

Novel
A critically-acclaimed SF "whodunit" about murder, mayhem, and a mysterious monster on Mars' largest moon.

"THE FRANKLIN AFFAIR"
Regency Press, 2001

Novel
An historical mystery centered around Ben Franklin's 1776 visit to Paris - a tale of intrique, betrayal and friendship.


NAME IN LIGHTS:

This issue’s Name in Lights goes to a dear friend and Allegory associate editor, Jackie Kessler. Jackie is the author of a dozen published novels, including the wonderful Hell's Belles and amazing Riders of the Apocalypse series. Her recently published To Bear an Iron Key is one of the most beautifully constructed YA fantasy novels I’ve ever come across and I recommend it highly.

Like me, Jackie is a working writer. She isn’t rich and she isn’t famous. But she is one of finest writers it had ever been my pleasure to read and I have the honor of being her very first sale, back when Allegory was still Peridot Books.

Jackie doesn’t write for fame or riches. She writes because writing, like breathing, is a necessary part of her being. I’m proud of what she’s accomplished. And I’m even prouder to call her my friend.


Allegory Goes
Bi-Annual!

by Ty Drago

 

Allegory (called Peridot Books once upon a time) was founded by Yours Truly in June of 1998. At the time, Bill Clinton was being impeached, “Saving Private Ryan” was on its way to winning the Oscar, the New York Yankees won the World Series (again), the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl for the first time (after losing it four previous times), and the top rated television show was “Friends.” The Internet was only six years old and the iPhone wouldn’t be introduced for another four years.

In other words: a long time ago.

For a while – quite a while – I published four issues per year, six stories per issue. Those were the Peridot Books days. I don’t mind telling you that the schedule was grueling, especially when you consider I had a full-time job and a writing career I was desperately trying to launch.

Well, around 2006, my writing career actually did launch. So around that time, Peridot Books changed its name to Allegory, and went from four issues a year to three. To even things out, I upped the number of stories per issue from six to eight, thus ensuring that I would publish the same number of stories (twenty-four) each year as I always had before.

Now, it’s nine years later.

Folks, I still have a full-time job, as well as a writing career which is doing quite well for itself. Add that to the fact that I am now, well, let’s say I’m a “man of a certain age” and leave it at that. The time has come to make another change.

With this issue, Allegory launches a new bi-annual publications schedule. That’s right: this e-zine will be released only twice a year going forward, on May 1st and November 1st of each year. However, I’m also increasing the number of stories published in each issue from eight to twelve – so, once again, the total annual number of published stories will remain steady at twenty-four.

As before, we will not buy ahead. Each issue will remain a self-contained process. The submission periods each year will be open from May 1st through June 30th and November 1st through December 31st. This will leave us time to stay current with the tremendous influx of stories and articles we receive from all over the world.

And it will allow me to take the occasional breath.

For those of you who might grouse at this news, I should point out that my wife of twenty-four years (almost, as of this writing) thinks it’s high time I give this e-zine up altogether. But I’m just not ready to do that.

Allegory soldiers on.

Though, rather like her founder, she ain’t as young as she used to be!

Happy writing.

Ty Drago
Founder, Publisher and Managing Editor of Allegory

Fiction

 

"A Blue Blood Lady"
by Gwendolyn Kiste

Not until my parents were nestled comfortably in the family crypt did I attempt my first murder. If nothing else, I wanted to spare my mother’s reputation. Ladies who lunch frown on women with homicidal progeny.

The moment I formally inherited the estate, I fired our cache of servants. From the cook who crafted the world’s best crème brûlée to the maid who practically raised me, their tears over the unceremonious dismissal haunted the hallways long after the rooms went vacant. But at least free-range servants had a sporting chance.

The chauffeur examined me over his glasses. “You’ll be sorry you let us go, Miss Beverly.”

“And you’ll be sorry if you stay.”



"Sapience and Maternal Instincts"
by Krystal Claxon

I tried not to stare at her taut maroon skin, her too-long fingers, her high cheek bones. She watched me fiddle with my wedding rings.

"You don't have to stay." Her voice was reluctant as she continued, "If this is making you uncomfortable, I mean."

With threadbare resolve I looked into her eyes, "No, I'm glad to see you..." I cleared my throat. "Your father told me that it wouldn't be possible to see you after the birth. I thought I'd never know what became of you." I added, "I'm glad to see you well."
I surprised myself at the sincerity.

She smiled with my teeth again. It wasn't as unnerving this time.

I ventured, "How old are you now?" I corrected myself, "I mean, I know how old you are, but how close are you to being, uhm, an adult? You'd be old enough to vote now, if you were human--" The word choked in my throat. I didn't mean to make it sound like she wasn't my child. Like I thought she was some stranger.

She didn't seem to notice. "I'm old enough to breed, but I haven't chosen a mate." She smirked, "I have a whole colony to choose from."



"Pherusa Among the Stars"
by Michael Haynes

She sensed the humans before she could see their vessel. The flow of emotions from their minds was the first familiar thing she had experienced in this place. It guided her like a beacon and she sped to the source.

The ship was nothing like the ships she and Dynamene had aided. But what she felt from the people within it was clear. Hope. Fear. Prayer.

The prayers were not to her. The women and men prayed to the same gods as the sailors of the new ships which ventured on Earth's seas. But the words of their prayers were as well-known to her as the currents of the Aegean. "Please let us get home safely."
"Save us." "Give us speed."


"The Czech is in the Mail"
by Christopher J. Ferguson

The man finally noticed the tube and looked at it with a curious expression, “That thing is for hunting the demon?”

Xanthae nodded and smiled, tapping the barrel of the tube and nearly sending Nevine into a spin in the process, “This is my own invention, a rapid-recharge electromagnetic burst machine. Demons hate them.”

The man looked quite impressed, “And works well it does, whatever it is?”
Nevine exchanged a glance with Xanthae, and this time it was Nevine who spoke up, “It depends on what you mean by ‘well’. Keep your expectations low and you’ll be very happy with us, Sir.”


"Odyne"
by S.L. Gilbow

I hear the crash of breaking glass and a muffled “Shit.” The bartender clutches his right hand with his left and raises them both to eye level. A single bead of blood trails down his forearm.

I should have done something. Should have said something to the bartender. But there's really nothing I could have done. Nothing I could have said.

“Does it hurt?” asks Odyne.

“I think it's cut pretty deep.” The bartender holds the wounded hand out for Odyne to see.
The manager rushes out of the kitchen, looks hard at the bartender's hand and signals to the hostess who takes the bartender gently by the left arm and leads him out the front door.

"Black Mark on the Soul"
by Sarina Dorie

“Ms. Holland, you advertise yourself as being able to capture someone’s essence. And you claim to transfer it onto a canvas so the painting bears the marks of age and sin but the subject doesn’t,” May Fredericks said, scanning the works-in-progress on my pristine, white walls. She was tall and curvy, with dark features and long hair, reminding me of a Greek goddess more than a journalist.

I wiped my clammy hands against my black skirt, reminding myself this interview would surely bring me more clients. I had nothing to fear from this woman.

“You also claim—”

“I don’t claim,” I said, feeling a hint of annoyance. “I deliver.”


"A Very Dynamic Field"
by Deepak Bharathan

“What is it now, Mr. Damon?” asked Ms. Khan, English.

“Gene sequencing. They dug out the root causes for three new diseases. My lessons are out of date now,” he rued.

“Well, the march of science...right?” piped in Mr. Dillon, Mathematics.

“I wish it would march on after the school year. Now I’ll have to requisition the school board to see if they want anything on the syllabus changed. What a pain.” He grabbed some coffee from the machine. It was awful, but everyone in the teachers’ lounge had reluctantly agreed that bad coffee was better than no coffee. “Just gets me how much my stuff changes...,”

“And mine doesn’t?” asked Mr. Landon, Physics.

“Or mine?” chimed in Ms. Janos, Chemistry.


"Fast Food Fish Fatale"
by Jason Feingold

I didn't notice her until I was fairly close, and when her image finally broke into my conscious mind I entertained and discarded multiple theories as to what she was. At first I thought she was a beached porpoise. Then I thought perhaps she was a dead seal. Then I concluded that she was a bloated corpse, some poor bastard who had run afoul of the type of business people who deal with their personnel issues by partially immersing them in concrete and dumping them off the most convenient pier.

My sobbing drew up short. I cleared the teary ice from my eyes with great childlike swabs on the backs of my hand.

It wasn't anything it should have been. It was a mermaid.


"Just Around the Corner"
by Alexei Collier

“So, Edgar,” I prompted. Always “Edgar,” never “Ed.” He’d correct anyone who called him “Ed,” in a flat voice that wasn’t combative, but certainly brooked no argument. “What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen?”

Edgar raised his head, expression turning merely thoughtful. “It’s been a long time since anyone asked me that,” he said slowly.


"Dust"
by Preston Dennett

Except for the whisper of the air conditioner, the beeping of machinery and the soft breathing of the patients, the cancer ward was silent. My eight-year-old Sarah lay sleeping in her room. She looked so pale and still, like a little bird. She was a shell of her former self. I longed to scoop her into my arms and hold her. But she was too delicate. The IVs and monitors were holding her now, keeping alive my dying girl.

Thank God Jill wasn’t here yet. She would never approve of what I was about to do.

I scanned the hallway. No doctors. It was now or never. I bent down and kissed Sarah’s forehead. “This is for you, slugger,” I whispered, and wiped the tears from my eyes.

I opened the envelope and sprinkled the contents on Sarah’s exposed skin--on her face, neck and arms. As my dealer had said it would, the dust disappeared on contact.


"La Noche de Los Muertos"
by Donald Jacob Utivlugt

The Calacas were coming.

One heard them before one saw them. A susurrus felt in the back of the brain, almost an absence of sound rather than a sound. They came through the glowing mists, impossibly tall figures, Goya-esque elongations the off-white color of old bones. They wore no clothes. They had no distinguishing sexual characteristics at all. Even a trained xenologist like Riposa had trouble telling the difference between individuals. They moved toward the unsettled human crowd, children's drawings of skeletons come to life.

Save for the skulls. The Calacas had no eyes, no nose, only two shallow depressions and a pinched peak the same bone color as the rest of their form. Their mouths were roughly oval, with dozens of bone squares that fluttered in the black opening. In all the years she had studies the creatures, Riposa had never heard the Calacas speak. At least not as humans speak.

Staff Showcase

In this issue we're doing things a little differently. Instead of short stories,
a number of ALLEGORY staff members are highlighting their published
or soon-to-be-published novels. We hope you'll take a moment to see
what we've been up to -- besides this e-zine!


"Novel Preview:
"THE UNDERTAKERS: LAST SIEGE OF HAVEN"

by Ty Drago

"Novelette Preview:
"THE WRITING CLASS"

by Kelly Ferjutz


"Novel Preview:
"CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS"

by J.E. Taylor


"Novel Preview:
"WAGERED KISS"

by Hetty St. James

Honorable Mentions

Allegory deals with submissions in the way that, as far as I know, remains fairly unique in the publishing world. Each story is individually reviewed and, if considered publishable, is placed in our "Maybe" pile. At the end of each submission period, these "Maybes" are reviewed, and the best eight chosen to appear in the next issue. This final cut is made on the basis of issue balance, and does NOT reflect the overall quality of these stories.

That said, here - in no particular order - are the "Maybes" who just missed publication in Allegory. Each one is a fine tale that we would have been proud to publish. Remember these names, friends and fellows. You'll be hearing from them in the future. I guarantee it!

Death Watch by Richard Flores IV
Othan, Vandal by Kurt Magnus
A Place of Peace by Lizz Shepherd
I'm with Cupid by Melanie DeWitt
Cathedral by Julio Alegria
Matter by Barry Charman
Dragon Rising by L.S. Engler
The Candy Store by Christopher DiLeo
Frozen Hope by Adam Ralston
Cries in the Night by William Jones
Traveler by Lacie A. Carmody
To My Father by David G. Blake
The Perfect Match by T. Kent
Ingeborg Unspelled by Jessamy Dalton
Dream On by Leland Neville
Ovum Tempi by K.J. Kabza
A Body at Rest by Alison McBain
Last Call for Gate 18 by Jacquie Rogers
The Cathedral of the Fang by Zach Lisabeth
A Different Life by Danny Lalonde
Beneath the Bell Bay Light by A.P. Sessler
Bitter Honey by Julie Frost
The Last Bar in Antebellum by Richard Ankers
Celestial Bodies by Lauren Kocher
Chimera Call by Paul Magnan
Encroaching by Alexander Chirila
The End of Their Ways by Allen Saslaw
Cataphile by Ashley K. Warren
Damiler of Ironheart by Tobacco Jones
Doopi Cat and the Trials of Marriage by Andy Nellis
Life for Death by Amy Powers Jansen
The Good Seed by Tom Howard
Under the Lake by Ian Green
Loyal Dice by Lindsey Duncan
Twenty Minutes to Mars by Samuel Kabakoff
We Need to Talk by Katerina Gerolemou


Editor for Hire!!!

Allegory's own Kelly Ferjutz, who has lent her editorial talents to this ezine since its inception in 1998, is now offering her expertise to writers out there looking for professional editing services.

Kelly is a veteran editor, a published author in her own right, as well as a "blogsman".

Click HERE to discover more about Kelly's offered services.

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