The black screen fades to a bright light.

A pair of broken glasses on broken ground. 

The lenses are round and cracked.

Smoke and embers floats above them. 

Ash floats above them.

A hand with a bruised wrist and scabbed

fingers reaches down and picks up the glasses.

One of the stems gets left behind. As the glasses

move through the air the lenses flicker and time begins 

to

move

backwards.

The people in the theater will see images in the lenses:

fire,

an explosion.

The images move up and down as running,

falling, getting up

happen again and again.

There is a spray of blood and the blurry face of the love interest

(the face is blurry so the people watching can insert

the face of their own love interest into the picture).

A cigarette zooms into focus as it is lifted to the Wearer’s lips,

abrasions on the fingers, blood slick down the knuckles.

Vomit.

Tears.

Rain.

There is a scream, the first

sound since the movie started. 

It is not the scream of a victim, a trapped animal, but a scream of 

thwarted desperation.

The quick stick of a knife.

The Wearer falls and is held down by a heavy body.

The ripping of clothing.

A punch to the face.

The glasses are knocked askew.

There is a television screen with a news announcement and

A social media post promising bad weather ahead.

There is the hand again, not bruised, not bloody.

The glasses are not broken anymore and they finally settle 

on the Wearer’s face.

There is morning.

There is sunlight.

*

Photo by J. E. Schoondergang on Unsplash

Cover art by ikaruna

Authors

Nicola Kapron, Erica Ciko Campbell, A.E. Stueve, Stephen McQuiggan, Carson Winter, Garrett Rowlan, Steve Hayward, Anna Ziegelhof, Frances Pauli, Catherine J. Cole, Dave D’Alessio, Britt Foster, Carla Durbach, Carol Holland March, Joel Donato Ching Jacob, Aviel McDermott, Kathrine Machon, Coleman McClung, Jessa Forest, Matthew Gomez, Julie Cohen, Lisa Short, M.M. Schreier, E. Seneca, Geri Meyers, Rowan Rook, Roni Stinger, Spencer Mann, Simon Brown, Chrissie Rohrman

I am so honored to be included in this anthology alongside so many wonderful authors with wonderful stories.

see the world through other eyes

Stories take us beyond the bounds of our own lives—into new worlds and new situations. Perhaps most importantly, they invite us into new minds. Through the eyes of the characters we temporarily become, we not only live other lives, but discover new ways of looking at our own. Speculative fiction takes us a step farther—beyond the bounds of humanity, itself.

In Through Other Eyes, the first All Worlds Wayfarer anthology, immerse yourself in 30 unique stories featuring non-human protagonists, from aliens to dragons and monsters to mythical beings. Become someone—and something—else.

Blurb and author list from All Worlds Wayfarer.

now available

Amazon (US)

Barnes and Noble

my story

This anthology features my short story The Harpy’s Son.

This story was inspired by my still unfinished NaNoWriMo 2016 manuscript and is the backstory of one of the protagonists of The Heart of the Forest Cycle.

It seems, though I struggle with getting my characters’ current lives on paper, I have zero issues writing their backstories.

The Librarian

a Short Story by Jessa Forest

Download your free PDF version here.

The big table makes you look smaller than you are. Like a little morsel, a macaroon, a petit four alone on a dinner plate. You twitch, fidget. You curl your spine protectively over your phone screen despite the towers of books that surround you. Ponderous tombs of science, philosophy, and madness.

The World Atlas Extraordinaire sits on a stand older than this building next to you, propped open to the Pacific Islands, resplendently corralled by the cartography of the currents, dancing whorls of sacred scarification.

Each time the door slides open your eyes dart around in your skill like scared rabbits. You’re looking toward the door now; the shining glass, the herald of the morning sun. You are waiting for someone.

Continue reading “The Librarian: a dark fantasy short story”