A hugely warm welcome to issue two of Between Worlds. It is our pleasure to introduce to you six writers who have felt the chill of autumn, the thinning of the veil, and told us what they’ve seen.
‘The Bones of Walker Lake’ is a tragic, beautiful, haunting story, that has gripped us since that first reading and not let go. Proudly our first LGBTQA+ acceptance, Tegan Elliott’s chilling tale of unrequited love, with its heavy atmosphere and compelling central mystery, is right at home on Between Worlds.
‘Don’t Quit’ is a well-crafted vignette focused on dialogue, character, and setting, rather than reality-ending paradoxes. At its heart, it asks a question many of us wonder: what if you could slip back for just 60 seconds and give advice to your past self? With that in mind, this is a short story that will undoubtedly stay with us for some time, and we may never look at a McDonald’s in the same way again.
‘The Destiny Charm’ lies at the intersection of extremely clever writing and world-building, fitting all this into an tightly-woven flash story. It’s a testimony to Sammi Cox’s writing that we cared so deeply about Liyara after only a few lines of narration, and its ending left us breathless for more of this intriguing world.
Given the plot – a homeless boy interrupts a nightmarish monster’s kidnapping of a little girl – perhaps the most surprising aspect of ‘A Bounty of Dreams’ is the childlike innocence of both boy and creature. Paul Alex Gray’s characterisation ensures that this story carries a lot of heart.
‘A Circle of Doorways’ wonderfully melds the supernatural and the natural into a father-son character study. Pay close attention to the details here; Guy Russell’s narrative conceals complexity within its folds.
On its surface, Lorna Wood’s ‘Elf Houses’ is a tragic depiction of domestic violence and its effects on the young. However, there is something much deeper to be found here, just below the surface. Its link to autumn is subtle yet masterful in the berries, fungi and harvest notes mentioned, and while we dare not spoil how the plot develops, it is a testimony to the power of imagination. We loved this story, from its unflinching opening to its chilling, memorable close.