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Wake, Isabelle Ryan

CW: blood

Blood coruscates

dappled claret in the dust

shed by shapes that bristle leathery and huge

and utter rusty squawks that score the air.

I stagger back but


are unafraid

of talons rending chunks of earth and flesh

of bloodlust blinking in black eyes

of drooping wattles and threadbare wings.

I recoil from hard hooked blood-shod beaks.

You approach them.

I chance an upward glance and

more stooped figures study from bare branches.

With a roiling gut I wonder

that their claws don’t snap the snag in two.


the ones below flap and shriek

and re-join the committee.

I watch them watching me.

You crouch beside their quarry

and take everything worth taking.

A tilted blur descends and I crumble

doubled over to expel

translucent strings.

You stroke my hair

and mutter comfort and

with sticky fingertips

push meat into my mouth.


Isabelle Ryan is a writer from the UK who mostly writes character-driven horror fiction with queer themes.

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