‘Flower-Face’

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What does it mean to be a woman? From the moment she is born, a girl’s identity will start being forged. Elders, peers and social expectations will all assist in shaping her understanding and growth into the confusion that is womanhood. A confident sense of her self-worth is a bonus. But what if these guides had not been present? ‘Flower-Face’ by Ness Owen tells the tale of a grown woman – crafted from flowers – created with the sole purpose of becoming a wife. Alone and confused in a world of rules and traditions, she must meekly follow the wishes and guidance of her creators until a time when she has grown strong enough to start shaping her own destiny.

‘Flower-Face’ by Ness Owen is the eleventh story to feature in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3’, published by Mothe’s Milk Books. Visit their website for a browse of their reads :).

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‘The Daughter with Indigo Eyes’

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Nurture, education and rebellion – all trials of motherhood that can be challenging under the simplest of circumstances. But when Annie discovers an infant, swaddled in moss and sticks amongst the bombed houses of the brick-fields, she has no clue of how unusual her new daughter will grow up to be. No clue, except for the ever-present ravens carefully watching the mother-daughter relationship unfold…

‘The Daughter with Indigo Eyes’ by Moira Garland is the tenth short story in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Visit their website for a copy of the fairytale anthology.

‘Airless’

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‘Biosustainability’, ‘georesources’, ‘acidic fallout’. Not words you’d usually associate with fairytales. However, as the decades see Mankind continuing to make steps in interplanetary travel, our imaginations have flown ahead of us into space, conjuring races, environments and supernatural encounters just as fantastical as the folklore of old. Nathan Ramsden’s ‘Airless’ sees humans struggling to colonise a distant world. Atmospheric storms rage, sustainable population limits have been exceeded and the only breathable air available is manufactured by failing towers. Furthermore rumors are circulating of strange sightings beyond the station boundaries…

‘Airless’ by Nathan Ramsden is the ninth short story in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Visit their website for a browse of their published works.

‘Iron Man’

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Time is our greatest enemy. It stalks us constantly, waxing the health from our bodies, buffing up ailments lying in wait and dusting away our memories as we try desperately to cling on to our youth. But what if you could break this eternal spell? What if you had the miracle-cure to be forever young? Would you use it? Even if it condemned another…?

‘Iron Man’ by Claire Stephenson is the eighth short story in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3’ published by Mother’s Milk Books. Visit their website for a copy.

The Lost Children of Lorenwald

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Forests. Ancient twining havens for all manner of fantastical beings, from tiny imps hidden in the lichen to long-forgotten gods slumbering between the roots of a giant oak. Forests have a curious pull over all of us but no more so than the Lorenwald. Child after child has been lost to it’s beckoning depths. Now it is a forbidden place, shunned by the local villagers for fear of the unknown. Can a wandering songwriter unravel the mysteries of the Lorenwald and discover the fate of the lost or will she too be claimed by the trees?

‘The Lost Children of Lorenwald’ by Elizabeth Hopkinson is the seventh short story in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3’ published by Mother’s Milk Books. Visit their website for a browse of their published works.

‘The Narclops’

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The internet can be an extremely useful tool. It can increase awareness of injustice, raise support for charitable endeavors and teach us anything that we wish to know. But while the internet is our Eden of information, our electronic Tree of Knowledge, social media can often take the form of the coiled serpent at its roots. Sophie Sellars short story ‘The Narclops’, examines how social media can inspire our most negative passions, making us both envious and vain, and how our narcissism could mask distract from the progression of our downfall. We struggle to identify with the rituals and routines of older, more primitive civilizations but will our way of life be any more understandable to generations of the future?

‘The Narclops’ s the sixth short story to feature in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Visit their website for your own copy 🙂

Melissa’s Bearskin

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The phrase ‘finders keepers’ has tripped off the tongue of all of us in childhood, mostly instigating little consequence. However, when young Melissa declares her right to a bearskin discovered in the forest, she never suspects that the selfish act will begin a tale of want and regret, of first love and lost love, of motherhood and heartbreak.

‘Melissa’s Bearskin’ by Ronne Randall is the fifth story in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3’ published by Mother’s Milk Books. Visit their website for a browse of their books!

‘Listening to the Mermaidens’

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I’m sure we all caught a glimpse of something fantastical when we were children… The flutter of fairy wings amongst the leaves, the flit of a curious doppelganger between the shadows or perhaps even the glimmer of dragon scales under dappled shade. I’m also sure, regaling our tales to our elders, we were humored rather than believed. ‘Listening to the Mermaidens’ by Angi Holden realises how unforgettable and personal these moments can be and how there maybe someone out there who just might have shared your experience…

‘Listening to the Mermaidens’ is the fourth short story in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Visit their website for a browse of their literary repertoire 🙂

‘The Web and the Wildwood’

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Man’s greatest weakness is perhaps the yearn to possess, to covet. To ensnare something beautiful and free and imprison it in a cage of misguided affection and false protection, whilst turning a blind eye to the consequences. Lynden Wade’s ‘The Web and the Wildwood’ follows a Lord’s hunt for the most elusive and prized fairytale beast of them all, the unicorn. But as it’s fate is woven through tapestries and attempts at capturing the creature are foiled by a literal cheeky monkey, we learn that even love and the purest intentions can build a prison as strong as stone walls.

‘The Web and the Wildwood’ is the third story to feature in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3’ published by Mother’s Milk Books. Pick up your copy here.

‘Midnight Riders’

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We’re all familiar with fairytale celebrities. Rich young Prince Charmings looking to shower their millions on penniless women who just so happen to spin straw into gold, awake at a kiss or have just the right footsize. But what of the characters left behind by the social-climbers? The caretakers? The groundsmen? The seamstresses? So to Dan Micklethwaite’s ‘Midnight Riders’ and driver Barry, lord of his own chariot but invisible to those on their way to the ball…

‘Midnight Riders’ is the second short story to feature in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3’, published by Mother’s Milk Books, a small independent press in Nottingham, UK. Please visit their website for a copy of this fantastical collection.