Volume 2 Issue 8

For my seventh birthday, my uncle took me and my cousins to the circus. I was not particularly interested in circuses but according to the poster (this was back before the internet), they had the one thing in the world that my seven-year-old heart desired: a unicorn.

So we drove in the cranky Dodge Ram to the sports arena in the nearby city of Jacksonville and went in. Everything was gaudy and tawdry and absolutely fantastic. The roaming spotlights, the smell of elephant shit and cotton candy, the sequins and ruby red lipstick, it was so different from how I usually spent a school night. And then, the unicorn. I gripped my best cousin’s hand in anticipation. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages…

It was not a unicorn.

It was a goat.

I tried not to show my disappointment to my uncle and his wife (second wife so I did not call her my aunt). They had gone through so much trouble for a niece that they barely knew, despite the fact that I lived next door. It was before the scandals, the accusations. We were just family then.

And I did learn a valuable lesson that night, on the cusp of my seventh year: in this life, people will try and convince you that the mundane is sacred. Keep your eyes open for barnyard animals disguised as mythological creatures.


This issue, the last one for a while, features four excellent stories:

(2) The clown that was not by Sunil Sharma
(3) Elasto Man and the Siamese Sisters by Dawn DeBraal
(4) Round and Round by Lynn White
(5) Welcome To My Circus by Kelli J Gavin

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Volume 2, Issue 7: Heat

Last summer, the heat was a killer. Every day, the news reported more causalities of the brutal heat wave, old people, young people, people who worked outside, played outside. A first grader died during a short excursion to the local park, prompting a nationwide campaign of keeping the children indoors, protecting them from the heat.

And now that summer dawns again, everyone is worried. Will the heat be as cruel this year, will it make us suffer, make us melt?

Heat, anthropomorphized into a killer so that we have not something to blame but someone.

In this issue’s collection of eight stories, heat influences and threatens, heat appears as an actual weapon and as a vehicle of remembrance.

(2) On a hot day some strange kinship by Sunil Sharma
(3) In the Heat of the Night by Dawn DeBraal
(4) The Newspaper Reporter by Mark Kodama
(5) Palm Leaf by Abu Siddik
(6) Cremation by Subhash Chandra
(7) HEAT by Louis Kasatkin
(8) Lakeside by Lynn White
(9) Marshmallows by Kelli J Gavin

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Volume 2 Prompt 1

This year, the American confectionery company Necco went bankrupt and the classic Valentine’s candy Sweethearts went down with them. After 116 years of manufacturing sugary conversation starters, people will have to rely on their own wits to express their adoration.

For this week’s prompt, I want you to select a Sweethearts’ message and use it. The message should also double as the title. There are many lists of messages available such as this one or this one. And, as usual, 500 words, due 2/14 by 8 pm est via Green Submissions (as a PDF please).

Feel free to write me with any questions or concerns: mercurialstories@gmail.com.

Prompt No. 7

Hello all and welcome to week seven.

This week’s prompt is: the golden years.

You can tackle the phrase directly, you can keep it in mind as you write, whatever works for you but I would like to see how your creative mind reacts to this rather interesting phrase. Especially since so many participants end up being American.

I will be back tomorrow with the new playlist. Get writing, lovelies.

Prompt No. 4

Hello and welcome to Week 4 here at Mercurial Stories.

It was a really shitty week last week for me and so I was unable to either participate in the writing project or promote it. These things happen, eh? So onward we go.

Week 4 is a bit broad. This prompt does not have to be included in the story directly but can be woven in. The prompt is:

the color blue

Do what you like with it but do it in less than 500 words. And submit it to mercurialstories@gmail.com by Thursday, please.

Check back in tomorrow for the new playlist.

Happy writing.

Prompt #3 – No stories

Due to an extremely frustrating and long work week, I was unable to promote this writing project like I normally do and thus had no submissions this week, even from myself.

So I will let it go and try again next week.

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