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Introduction

Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it. ~ Lloyd Alexander

Here at Tell-Tale Press, we hope to entertain you with quality stories from talented writers around the world. Some stories may include graphic violence, erotica, or both. They have been indicated as such before the story begins. Thank you for joining us, and happy reading!

The Once and Future Town Council by Carl R. Jennings

Clink, clink, clink.
The noise oozed through the din of the crowd. They were milling about aimlessly, the kind of aimless that came from a number of small groups of people who banded together in order to not experience new social horizons. Every fantastical demographic element from the kingdom was represented in the large room: humans, trolls, elves, dwarves, vampires, orcs, goblins, gorgons, ogres, banshees, and even one or two boogeypersons. Each sought out groups that looked like themselves immediately upon arrival and increased their number by one. All except for the dwarves, who were notoriously factionalist—they had to take an extra few seconds to look for the particular armor markings of the clan they were aligned with at that particular moment.
Clink, clink, clink.   
The noise was metallic and somehow sounded obscenely glutinous, like warm, glistening lard. It echoed slowly up to the high vaulted ceiling above the assembled crowd. One could imagine that it’s what gold sounded …

Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Gregg Chamberlain

This story first appeared in Weirdbook #34, Spring 2017.

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“There’s no point in shouting or screaming for help,” said Mr. Seltzer. “No one can hear you.”
Little Kyrie stared, wide-eyed, as the kindly-looking old man reached into a battered top hat. His arm went in up past the elbow. He drew out a big, wickedly sharp-looking knife. Its shiny blade gleamed in the flickering candlelight.
Seeing the child’s astonished look, Mr. Seltzer smiled. “A useful little gift from my patron,” he said, twirling the hat around on a finger. “Imagine what the Dark Lord will give me in exchange for you.”
He pointed with the tip of the knife at the chalk outline of a pentagram on the floor. “Now, be a good little sacrifice and step inside. Mind you don’t smudge any of the lines. Else it will prove unpleasant for you, and I’ll just redraw the pentagram anyway.”
Kyrie took one reluctant step towards the pentagram. Without warning, the child darted aside, at the same time leaping towards Mr. Seltzer. Grabbing at…

Novelette - Seastruck by Marilyn "Mattie" Brahen

This story was previously published in Allen K’s Inhuman Magazine, Number 6, 2015.

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“I don’t paint fantasy anymore,” Mary told the interviewer, when he had asked about the portrait of Poseidon hanging in the corner of her third-floor studio. “It’s simply that real life has more compelling subjects.” But after he had left, she went back upstairs to the portrait and stared at it. The memories hurt as they came flooding back to her.
She recalled that long ago, cloudless, late summer evening, when she’d moved into the beach house in Monterey. Her grandmother had bequeathed the two-story cottage to Mary, along with a modest trust fund, a godsend that allowed her to paint fulltime and build a career in the fine arts. Moonlight through the picture windows had illuminated the bedroom and living room as she unpacked, the sturdy cottage fitting her belongings like a charm.
She unpacked her art supplies last, putting them in the small enclosed porch, glassed in and facing west, north and east.
It…