Tag Archives: short story

“Delivery for 3C at Song View” published in Diabolical Plots!

“Delivery for 3C at Song View” published in Diabolical Plots! This is my first publication of 2022, but I sold it about a year ago now, so I’ve been sitting on this one for a little while :)

“Delivery for 3C at Song View” is a contemporary fantasy piece about a delivery driver (Door Dasher) who can passively, and inadvertently, grant wishes. When one customer she delivers to makes an offhand wish, chaos and hilarity ensues. There’s an underlying serious tone to this humorous piece, so that it has depth, dealing with the idea of being enslaved to wishes, and the easy casualness we wish for things.

One of the cool things about this story is that when I originally wrote it, I honestly thought there was no way I’d sell it. I thought it wasn’t serious enough, it wasn’t thematic enough, it wasn’t something, and yet I had an absolute blast writing it. I just didn’t know what in the world to do with it. I want to give a shout out to my fellow Odyssey graduate, Vikram Ramakrishnan, for pointing out the themes I had in the story and giving me the confidence to submit it–no one might be reading it otherwise so I’m very grateful <3

I also want to thank both David Steffan and Kel Colemen for being such great editors to work with. They found ways to make the story more seamless and suggested changes that just elevated the whole experience. So many, many thanks and appreciation for the work they put in :)

You can read the story for free on Diabolical Plots’ site here!

<3 Marie C.

Awards Eligibility List 2021!

I’m a little behind in my story announcements at the end of this year, a few that simply need a bit of photography love before I post. However, I would like to craft a fully-fleshed out eligibility post for awards season now rather than even later since I’m already awfully late.

This year I had 9 original stories published—the best publication year I’ve ever had, and far more than I ever dreamed of having!! I’ve listed them mostly in order of what’s available to read online and what is behind a paywall.

I’d really appreciate if you would give at least the first one, “To Seek Himself Again,” a read if you only have time to read one. The first four are all available online for free for you to check out my writing :)

Thank you for your consideration!!

(Please note: if you are nominating for awards and would like a copy of any of these stories in order to consider it, please email me at mariecroke(@)gmail.com to request)

8 Short Stories

1) “To Seek Himself Again” in Apex Magazine (Oct 2021) FREE TO READ HERE!

Keba, who has spent his life helping people craft the bodies that most represent themselves. From rabbits with bat wings and children with gills, he has built a reputation.

Only, when a lady shows up at his home, wanting a trade without being willing to part with a single part of her “pure” body, Keba is brought into a situation where life as he knows it, how the world knows it, might be lost forever.

2) “Flock of Words and Wonder” in Apparition Lit Wonders Issue (Oct 2021) FREE TO READ HERE!

The Library of All is an incredible place that can travel between worlds and houses every written work from every realm. These words arrive each day, differently shaped, a multitude of languages represented, they fly into the Library of All in the hopes of being sorted to their proper place.

3) “Aunt Taveaj’s Wolf-Friendly Sweet Shoppe” in Uncharted Magazine (Dec 2021) FREE TO READ HERE!

In those days, Aunt Taveaj’s Sweet Shoppe was a children’s delight, but the world is not always kindly to wolves. Come, let me tell you about my youth helping her bake, about the children I played with outside the shoppe walls that no longer exist. And I shall explain why our world looks the way it does now…

4) “Dance of Wood and Grace” in Zooscape Magazine (Mar 2021) FREE TO READ HERE!

This story is about a sauropod-like creature named Dirt of CrystalSleep who is born into a city where the caste-system is stringent and specific. Yet, that doesn’t stop him from harboring a whisper-want for something different.

5) “Ragged Roots of the Blossom Born” in Upon a Thrice Time (Air & Nothingness Press Nov 2021) READ HERE!

I used both Thumbalina and The Twelve Dancing Princesses in a mash-up of two fairy tales. I altered the ending of Thumbalina and made her and the swallow from her story my lead characters and gender-swapped the twelve princesses to princes. The story is botanical in nature, with the princes being of the trees in their forest, so that instead of dancing their shoes to worn bits, they are grinding down their very roots each night. And it’s Lina’s job to save them.

6) “Ten Poisons That Cannot Kill the Queen” w/ANNA MADDEN in Lackington Botanicals Issue (Dec 2021) READ HERE!

She wants to avenge her brother’s death and so sets out to assassinate the queen. Also botanical in nature, this time of the dangerous quality, with the story thematically dealing with the dangers women face in powerful positions, the higher sacrifices made, and the insidious beliefs that lead to wrong conclusions.

7) “Drop Shipment Standard Procedure” in Dark Matter Magazine (May/June 2021) READ HERE!

The short story revolves around a drop shipment with a spattering of language and translation difficulties interspersed within.

8) “How Many Crab Pots Does it Take to Destroy a Neighborhood?” in Dark Moon Digest (Jan 2021) READ HERE!

I set this mystery/horror story in a bayside community similar to the one of my youth, with a young girl investigating strange occurrences, partially to tap into my own history, partially to capture that sense of feeling off in one’s own skin, in one’s own home.

And then things turned creepy quite quickly.

Novelette

1) “Veins of My Sister” in Deep Magic (Spring 2021) READ HERE!

Long after a war base has been deserted, it still thrives, now as a city called Tews, led by Jes, woman of grit who will stop at nothing to keep her home safe.

But it’s not just the people who give Tews its reputation as a force to be reckoned with, for it was a veined city, moveable through space, weapons reacting as fast as the thoughts of whoever controlled her. Only now, there are problems. One such being Jes’s sister returning abruptly, arriving into Tews completely ignorant of the bounty Jes has put on her head. And she didn’t come alone…

“Flock of Words and Wonder” published in Apparition Lit’s Wonder Issue

My story about an abandoned magical library has been published in Apparition Lit’s Wonder issue!

“Flock of Words and Wonder” begins in the Library of All, an incredible place that can travel between worlds and houses every written work from every realm. These words arrive each day, differently shaped, a multitude of languages represented, they fly into the Library of All in the hopes of being sorted to their proper place.

On top of being published in print, this story is also available in audio, recorded by yours truly! This is my first time ever getting to record my own self reading one of my stories, so it was especially exciting (and a tad nerve-wracking!)

I would like to thank the amazing Maria Dong, the guest editor for this issue, for all her help and guidance in making this story the best it can be. I would like to also extend my appreciation for Rebecca Bennett for her edits, Amy Johnson, for her guidance, particularly for the audio version, and the entire rest of the team at Apparition Lit <3

You can read or listen to “Flock of Words and Wonder” here!

~Marie C.

Recommended Short Fiction: A GUIDE FOR WORKING BREEDS by Vina Jie-Min Prased & HOW TO SAFELY ENGAGE IN TELEPATHY WITH THE DOLPHINS OF OCEAN PARADISE by Elizabeth Cobbe


Two humorous stories told in experimental ways, both dealing with themes on freedom.

A GUIDE FOR WORKING BREEDS by Vina Jie-Min Prased is a delightful story told in DM/Text/Notification bits between a couple of robots, one having to mentor the other. There are dogs and killings and love and…you just really need to read it and smile along. Published in Made to Order Anthology and republished on Tor.com.

HOW TO SAFELY ENGAGE IN TELEPATHY WITH THE DOLPHINS OF OCEAN PARADISE by Elizabeth Cobbe is a serious tale camouflaged as humor. Told in a list/rule format style, this story takes you through the necessary precautions if you want to swim with the dolphins who can telepathically communicate with you. Only, there are asterisks and reasons for all these rules that you’ll come to realize. Published in Zooscape Zine.


Recommended Short Fiction: KALEIDOSCOPE by Silvia Moreno-Garcia & SANDRINE by Alexandra Munch


These two stories both revolve around relationships. In each, there is a sense of orbiting, characters close, but potentially never close enough. They are lovely in their own distinct ways.

KALEIDOSCOPE by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a stylized story dealing with characters whose lives touch in different ways in many iterations and time-lines. There’s so much emotion packed tightly into this piece, with its cluster of color that sweeps past quickly, just like you’re watching their lives through a spinning kaleidoscope. Absolutely wonderful. Published in Constelación.

SANDRINE by Alexandra Munch is the tale of the relationship Nicole has with a sun god, who has literal planets revolving around her, including the sand-strewn and lovely Sandrine. There’s a push and pull here, dealing with hidden stress and beautiful visages. Published in Strange Horizons.