A little dark cloud

Suddenly a little dark cloud landed on her left shoulder, Alice turned abruptly, trying to figure out its shape.
It was impossible to describe. At first it seemed to look like a wolf, but instantly shifted to represent a bizarre clock, which then left her taken aback having turned into a bat. It circled her suspiciously and settled down on a branch on the shape of a huge ebony raven. Alice expected it to caw “Nevermore”, but nothing happened. “Ah, it’s not December yet,” crossed her mind.
The dark mist expanded until it had enveloped Alice like a cloud all around. While she felt an unearthly limb caressing her pale skin, a clear sound of deep voice appeared in her mind, uttering the words the meaning of which was unknown to Alice, and three figures emerged from the fog and were slowly drifting above her. Alice could tell she was a part of a strange soul’s play in which she was a prisoner. How could she escape? She was watching them, two were totally dim, but

“The other was fair, as fair as can be, with great masses of golden hair and eyes like pale sapphires. I seemed somehow to know her face, and to know it in connection with some dreamy fear, but I could not recollect at the moment how or where. All three had brilliant white teeth that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips. There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips.”

Alice decided it was high time to escape as the dark silhouettes were approaching fast to embrace her in their midst. She threw the magazine she had carried along at them. “Why don’t you drop dead?!” she furiously yelled as she was leaping over …

Alice was surprised

Alice smiled and reached out her hand…

but instead of the expected feel of a soft fabric, she sensed something rather solid and was surprised to have found a letter in her hand. This strange letter said the following:

„I have lost my darling daughter, for as such I loved her. During the last days of dear Bertha’s illness I was not able to write to you. Before then I had no idea of her danger. I have lost her, and now learn all, too late. She died in the peace of innocence, and in the glorious hope of a blessed futurity. The fiend who betrayed our infatuated hospitality has done it all.”

She saw no signature, no date and wondered who and when could have written it. Suddenly a little dark cloud landed on her left shoulder, Alice turned abruptly, trying to figure its shape and…

And she saw…

And she saw a ghost.

 “It oozed out, a grey cloudy shape about three feet long smelling faintly of woodsmoke, sat down on a chair and began to hum to itself. It looked like a bundle of bedclothes, except that it was not solid: you could see, quite clearly, the cushion on the chair beneath it.”

‘Why woodsmoke?’ crossed her mind, but she smiled and reached out her hand…

„Drop-dead gorgeous you are“

This last October evening Alice felt she wanted to change something. “My hair?” she thought and died it black. “Drop-dead gorgeous you are,” her mirror informed her.
“You are not really dying, are you?” asked Amanda.

“I have the doctor’s permission to live till Tuesday,” said Laura.
“But today is Saturday; this is serious!” gasped Amanda.
“I don’t know about being serious; it is certainly Saturday,’ said Laura.
“Death is always serious,” said Amanda.

The book slipped from her hands and Alice opened her eyes…

Call for Submissions: Gothic Time


The stairway was exactly where the scroll you found in the university’s library said it would be. Down you go, step by step. The damp walls reflect the fire of your torch as you are descending deeper into the confines of the earth. White, translucent salamanders scuttle off as you find a door at the bottom of the stairwell. With a racing heart you push it open. In the hall behind it there is a little blonde girl with books under her arm. Or rather her ghost, transparent, hovering over the stone floor. She mutters something and you draw nearer to make out the words:

„Why nICHt? Gothic Time – Winter 2016.

Send your gothic-themed prose, poetry, short drama and fragments to whynicht@univie.ac.at.

Up to four A4 pages, not more. German, English and French are accepted. Visit our submission guidelines if you dare.

Now, submit your writings, otherwise off with your head…”

And the door behind you slams shut…



Welcome to the world of Ivy Alice!

The latest issue presents a treasury of fairy tales, fables, and magical poetry. Follow the mysterious paths through the enchanted realms to  unearth the keys and get bewitched…