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"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.


J. C. Runolfson's fiction has appeared in Reflection's Edge, Flash Me Magazine, and the anthology, Cinema Spec. Her poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, and Mythic Delirium among others. She lives in North Florida and is finally earning a degree in Creative Writing between wading into folk tales and wringing out myths. She rambles about all of these things, plus knitting and dogs on occasion, at seajules.livejournal.com.

The wolf meets a woman in the wood. The woman is red, from her hair to her lips to her dress to her long, sharp nails. Only her skin is pale and her eyes are dark, dark, dark. She lounges on the edge of a blanket, and spread out before her is a feast of the sort one doesn't bring to Grandmother: hunks of raw, bloody meat, long bones hacked up so that the marrow glistens inside, sweet, steaming organs and viscera.
Slavering, the wolf somehow manages to say, "Hello, Red."
"Hello, wolf." She offers him a close-mouthed smile and gestures with one languid, full-fleshed arm. "Help yourself."
He holds back long enough to consider the scale of the bones and the organs and asks, "Are you using me to get rid of evidence?"
The woman in red laughs throatily, but says only, "Are you refusing the offer?"
He has been hungry for a very long time and he is, truth be known, a greedy wolf. So he falls on butchered body and gorges himself, gulping down meat, sucking on the marrow, savoring the juices of the warm organs. Really, it is too much, and he knows it will make him sleepy and slow when he should stay alert, but he can't stop himself until all of it is gone and he is curled up on the blanket, licking the blood from his snout despite the overstuffed pain in his belly. Better that than the hunger.
"That was an excellent meal," the wolf says to the woman in red, remembering his manners again. "The finest I've ever had. May I ask his crime?"
The woman smiles at him again, showing teeth as long and sharp as his own. "He strayed. One should never stray unless one knows the wood well, don't you agree?" The woman in red laughs once more, and despite the drowsiness of a full belly, the wolf feels something he is not used to feeling in the company of an unarmed, unprotected human in his territory: fear. It's unexpectedly delicious, a relish on the feast. Then she asks, "Would you like dessert?"
She pulls another basket out of the hollow of a tree. He cannot eat more, he should not eat more, but when she draws forth more meat and bones and viscera, all as fresh and bloody as the last, he cannot help himself.
By the end of it he cannot move, and the woman still smiles her predator's smile.
"That was the lover?" he guesses, drawing out what he knows comes next.
The red woman rises. He sees now the axe she has been concealing in the moldering leaves. Its blade reflects the red of her as she raises it above her head. "Such a clever wolf. What a pity that you, too, are evidence."
"And who will you feed me to?" he wonders, staring up at the red, red, red of her.
Her answer is the gleam of white teeth as the axe falls.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, February 25th, 2016
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