"Three Fancies from the Infernal Garden" by Claire Cooney
"Three Fancies from the Infernal Garden", a short story by my friend Claire Cooney, can be read online in the Winter 2009 issue of Subterranean magazine.
One of the things I love about Claire's poetry (and here, her stories) is that they look like smiling candied apples until you get up close enough to bite into one and you find them biting back. Here she plays around with figures from Russian fairy tales-- there's a firebird, and the witch Baba Yaga, and people called Ivan.
Claire is a fellow member of the Twilight Tales writers' group in Chicago, a survivor of Saratoga Springs and the Battle of the Black Gate, grande dame in training and one of the booksellers who brought the late lamented Kate the Great's Book Emporium to life. And if you live in Chicago, you should definitely track down Katie and Claire's other ventures such as Top Shelf Books in Palatine, with its open mic on Thursdays-- and attend Twilight Tales (at the Mystic Celt until the Red Lion finishes remodeling) the next time Claire is reading. I would adopt her if it wouldn't cause talk, Claire being too tall for me to explain as a Third World orphan.