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Far Fetched Fabled No. 88 Desirina Boskovich and Melody Marie Sage

January 5, 2016 by Gary Dowell

Flash Fiction: “The Alchemist’s Wife” by Melody Marie Sage

(Originally published at Daily Science Fiction on July 17, 2015.)
I remember we celebrated with the dark chocolate torte at L’oiseau D’or. Its glossy black ganache was splashed with a comet trail of 24 carat gold stars. The gilt leaf dissolved tasteless on my tongue. The idea of it was titillation enough.
Ian talked about the project, and I pretended to listen to him, enjoying the sound of his voice, the exuberant parabolas he made with his hands. I was an artist. Chemistry, nanotechnology, bionics, and their various intersects, did not interest me. Colors did: the yellow candle flame flickering on his irises, the flush at the base of his throat, the creamy ivory tablecloth beneath my fingers. I smiled into my champagne. No, that is not entirely true. I loved learning about science in school, but Ian was on another level. He virtually spoke his own language. Only a select few of his colleagues could parse the intricacies of his logic. Now, I wish I had listened more closely.


Melody Marie Sage’s writing has recently appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Quaint Magazine, The Conium Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2014 Scott Imes Award and was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. To view more of her work, including a portfolio of her visual art, please visit melodysage.com.


Main Story: “Love is the Spell That Casts Out Fear” by Desirina Boskovich

(Originally published in The Way of the Wizard.)

Long ago, far away, in another time, and another place.

In this world, there lives a wizard.

She is old, but not that old.

She is young, but not that young.

The wizard lives alone in a tiny house at the forest’s edge. To the north are the tangled woods, home to unlikely zoological and botanical specimens the wizard has spent several lifetimes cataloging; she plans to spend several more. To the south lies the city: Perta Perdida, the City of Lost Girls.

The girls of Perta Perdida call the wizard Hanna D’Forrest, when they think of her at all. She’s charged with their protection. Whether this responsibility is one for which she volunteered, or one forced upon her, they no longer remember. Neither does she. Time moves differently here, languid as a summer stream. A place of refuge, this city was built to elude change. If they could trap this world like a leaf in amber, they would. But in the absence of that kind of magic, they settle for slowed clocks. They cling to their world as tightly as they can.

Still, occasionally time gets tangled, and change slips through the loops in the knots. Dangers force their way in through the cracks.

A wizard’s job is to untangle time, to retie the ropes. And to fight the danger they’re facing now.

Desirina Boskovich’s short fiction has been published in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Kaleidotrope, PodCastle, Drabblecast, and anthologies such as The Way of the Wizard, Aliens: Recent Encounters, and The Apocalypse Triptych. Her nonfiction pieces on music, literature, and culture have appeared in Lightspeed, Weird Fiction Review, the Huffington Post, Wonderbook, and The Steampunk Bible. She is also the editor of It Came From the North: An Anthology of Finnish Speculative Fiction (Cheeky Frawg, 2013), and together with Jeff VanderMeer, co-author of The Steampunk User’s Manual (Abrams Image, 2014). Find her online at desirinaboskovich.com.


About the Narrators:

Catherine Logan had many years of training in theatre and voice in her youth — then many years of teaching acting, drama, writing, and English literature as a grownup. She has taken plenty of workshops and has studio experience in narration, commercial, and animation voiceover work. Catherine is now involved in a second career which takes her back to her first love. Find her online at catherineloganvoice.com.

Heidi Hotz is not just another voice. She’s a voiceover artist with a range of personalities that varies from mom to the business corporate, to the friendly girl next door. She has been in the industry for more than 10 years, and has worked on TV commercials, radio, documentaries, audio fiction, and narration in general. Her website is HeidiHotz.com.


  1. Well done on the stories and production guys!

    Nicola’s insights into the stories are always great. Looking forward to next week’s!

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