When I was a child, I had a little charm bracelet. It was made of smooth nickel hearts, which I never swapped out for other charms, and had a sort of flip-over clasp whose mechanism I could never describe but was endlessly fascinated with. I would clasp it and unclasp it, over and over again, craving the silent satisfaction of the latch catching just so. The metal wore down under my touch. The charms lost their luster. My wrist grew as I did and the bracelet itself was eventually misplaced, but even now, my fingertips can feel the sense memory of that tiny click as everything fell into place.
Imagine, if you will, this issue of Apparition Lit as a charm bracelet that the editorial team has strung together. We have chosen for you:
- a gold-plated clock hand for “Tea and Owls,” in which all the charms in the world cannot stop the inevitable.
- a clay figurine with a smudged-off face for “Creek Bed Charms” and its reminder of impermanence.
- an iridescent raindrop for “She Calls,” where we follow the twin currents of memory and desire.
- a shard of glass, dulled with age, for “The Goblins of South India” and its many cycles of cures and suffering.
- a wind chime’s brass sail for “Charm of Goldfinches,” where each piece, each bird, painstakingly forms a whole.
- a miniature snow globe for “Silver Bells,” because a bell would just be too easy, wouldn’t it? Kathy would have picked a bell. God, she’s so insufferable.
Each author and each poet has brought their unique perspective on the theme of charm, but there is a thread of fate that winds through each piece, a sense of forces beyond the protagonist’s control. Sometimes that force is as grand as a dimensional rift, and sometimes it is as mundane as another person whose path has diverged. In the face of this push and pull of fate, this relentless destiny, the protagonists all respond… in entirely different ways.
As this issue’s guest editor, I am honored to clasp this issue closed and send it out to all of you lovely readers. I hope you are charmed, I hope you feel seen, and I hope you enjoy.
Lauren Ring (she/her) is a perpetually tired Jewish lesbian who writes about possible futures, for better or for worse. Her short fiction can be found in venues such as F&SF, Nature, and Lightspeed. When she isn’t writing speculative fiction, she is most likely working on a digital painting or attending to the many needs of her cat, Moomin.
Apparition Literary Magazine is funded by our patrons, the editors, and by your kind donations. If you’d like to support us, you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter and please consider donating and/or subscribing via Patreon.
Thank you for reading
Rebecca Bennett, Amy Henry Robinson, Tacoma Tomilson, and Clarke Doty