Featured Story: “The Cow & The Beanstalk” by Julie Frost
(Originally published in Azure Valley, April 2013)
Once upon a time, I was unfaithful to my fiancée. That went… aye, about as well as you’d expect.
“You traitorous varlet!” Mary screamed at me.
“Please, beloved! This isn’t what it looks like — ” I dodged the chamberpot she flung at my head. Fortunately, it was empty. Unfortunately, this was in fact exactly what it looked like.
“With my own sister?”
Katherine, the sister in question, waved a languid hand.
“You should be pleased with how long it took me to wear him down. Quite noble, your young man, ‘struth. I finally had to bespell him before he’d give in, and even that wasn’t easy.”
Mary growled, a noise I’d never heard her make before.
“You’ve always hated me, witch, and tried to steal every bit of happiness away that you could. I should have killed you in your cradle.” She leaped on top of the bed and aimed her nails at Katherine’s eyes, while I struggled off the other side and fell to the floor, fumbling with my clothes.
Katherine caught Mary’s wrists and flung her backwards.
She seemed rather amused by the whole thing. “You silly cow,” she said, leaning out of the way when Mary came back with a wild swing of a delicate fist. “Mmm, yes.”
She flicked her fingers, and suddenly a whitish-cream, doe-eyed Jersey cow stood on the bed where Mary had. “Much more suitable, I think,” Katherine said.
Julie Frost writes every shade of speculative fiction and lives in Utah with her family, which consists of an equal number of guinea pigs and people, and a collection of anteaters and Oaxacan carvings, some of which intersect. Her short fiction has appeared in Cosmos, Unlikely Story, Plasma Frequency, Stupefying Stories, and others, and was a finalist at Writers of the Future and the Hidden Prize for Prose. Her first novel, Pack Dynamics, was released at Salt Lake ComicCon 2015 by WordFire Press, and sold out there, much to everyone’s delight. She whines about writing, a lot, at agilebrit.livejournal.com.
About the Narrator:
Rish Outfield is a writer, actor, and podcaster who can be heard as co-host of The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, which presents genre stories with a full cast. He also performs audiobooks for Audible, and occasionally becomes a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms, and the moon is full and bright.