The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Your Strange Fortune by Chloe N. Clark

This selection, chosen by guest curator Heather Leigh, is from Your Strange Fortune by Chloe N. Clark, released by Vegetarian Alcoholic Press in 2019. 

Once for Yes and Twice for No

            The Fox Sisters were known for their ability to speak with the dead. They listened
            to the rap, rap, raps of the spirits knocking on walls, on tables, on the inside of
            cabinets. The raps were letters spelling out secrets. They said a man had been
            murdered. Buried beneath their house. Such secrets. Secrets
                                                are better left unsaid. Sometimes, Maggie and Kate Fox
would try to close doors, cover their ears, not listen. The public called for more,
for more, voices like pounding. The taste of alcohol was sweet compared to the
pounding. Maggie dreamed of the sky
                                                            bleeding into her skin whenever she went
            out at night. The stars in her veins shimmered and fell. She didn’t ever wish upon
            them. What could she have wished for? Kate began to manifest the spirits onto
            stages across America. They shimmered and shook. The spirits never
                                                                                    asked for much. Rapping,
rapping. After years, the sisters finally admitted to fraud. The rapping merely the
cracking of their toes done in unison. “We only wanted to play a joke on Mama,” they
said. Voices shaking

                                    Years later, children playing in the ruins of the old Fox house
                        found white sticking out of the ground. So chalky-colored, so smooth.
The bones of a man, murdered some said.

Chloe N. Clark is the author of Collective Gravities, Your Strange Fortune, and more. Her forthcoming books include Escaping the Body and Every Song a Vengeance. She is a founding co-EIC of Cotton Xenomorph.

Heather Leigh is a queer, disabled writer and editor who has been working within Chicago’s publishing world for more than twenty years, editing poetry for the likes of Curbside Splendor and reading prose and poetry for Uncanny Magazine. She has recently began to focus on her own publication goals between semesters teaching English, writing, reading, and journalism at various midwestern community colleges. She is a three-time SAFTA fellowship recipient, a multiple resident of Firefly Farms, and most recently had a speculative horror story published in Bloodlet, an anthology by CultureCult Press. She lives in Chicago with a retired cage-fighting poet, two rescue cats names after Buffy watchers, enjoying life with the family that caught her by surprise.


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