For the Like a Spell anthology, we asked writers to challenge the traditional tropes and send us something new—original stories of magic users, interesting twists on the typical sorcerers and mages. The response was overwhelming and exciting, and we decided to publish four separate anthologies, using the theme of classical elements (earth, air, fire, and water) as the focus for each collection.For the earth anthology, we’ve focused on stories portraying the love between women. When we thought earth, we thought of the Greek goddess Gaia and the Indian goddess Prithvi; we thought of the ubiquitous “Mother Earth” or “Mother Nature”; above all, we thought of fertility and life.
In “Here I Love,” TS Porter explores the dynamic between a hedgewitch and a wizard. All Primrose and Dulcamara want is to open their own witch’s supply shop—together, even if their kinds typically despise each other—and they embrace their differences in order to do so. But in order to make sure it’s ready for business, there’s one more step needed to make the space their own.
In “Water and Air,” Janelle Reston shows us an ordinary young woman, Miranda, who is resentful of the magic that runs in her family but that seems to have skipped her. But when Miranda meets a young water witch, she begins to learn more about herself as well. And if she gets to sleep with the pretty witch in the process, well, so much the better.
Michael M. Jones takes us back to school frustrations in “The Hateful Chime.” Olivia is a hard-working graduate student who prides herself on doing well in class, but she just can’t seem to get the hang of Freeform Magical Techniques. A classmate’s offer to help her study—and a theory about what’s blocking Olivia’s improvisational skills—is too intriguing to pass up.
Finally, in “Amplitude,” Rae MacGregor shows us that some non-magical people can be desperately curious to see real magic up close. Callie is a physics student and a regular at a local coffee shop, where a new barista has caught her attention in more than one way. One thing leads to another, and soon Callie is offering herself as a guinea pig to test the barista’s magic.
• Here I Love by TS Porter
• Water and Air by Janelle Reston
• The Hateful Chime by Michael M. Jones
• Amplitude by Rae MacGregor