Tangata Manu


The moai, monolithic human figures, of Easter Island have baffled people for centuries. How did those giant figures come to be? And the most pressing question, what are they gazing at?


Simon McHardy is an archivist and historian from Queensland Australia. His fiction has appeared in Cyclopean Ezine, 9 Tales Told in the Dark, Devolution Z and Five of the Fifth. When he isn’t ‘thighbone-deep in sumptuous dust’ Simon writes under the watchful eyes of his three cats.


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A Witch’s Familiar


I have a little black dog I found years and years ago. He’s old now, but ever since I found him he’s been my little shadow. Funny thing is immediately after finding him I said “This is my familiar!” This little guy has been a great comfort and a great little protector. I have a weird connection with crows as well. During the most trying moments of my life, during loss of loved ones, or during serious sickness I’ve found crows outside of my window or outside of my door. It’s as if they were there to tell me that everything was going to turn out alright, and it has. So, each time I see a crow it’s a sign of comfort for me, and maybe, in a way, these crows and my little dog are my familiars.


Traditionally, a familiar is thought to be an animal spirit that helps protect a witch. They appear as various animals – cats, dogs, goats, rabbits, owls, snakes, crows, frogs, ravens and more. During some witchcraft trials any animal, even a fly, could be assumed a demonic familiar. It was Christian belief systems that denounced familiars as agents of the devil.


A verse in the Bible even makes mention of a familiar. Leviticus 19:31 reads “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.” What was unfortunate about this is that during the witch trials many suspected witches who were coincidentally animal lovers were condemned to death. Their love of animals, in some ways, solidified authorities’ belief that they were witches. There are even cases of animals being put to trial, and being found guilty of being a witch.


William Shakespeare makes mention of familiars in Henry VI, Part II “Away with him! He has a familiar under his tongue (Act 4, scene 7).


So, next time you look your dog or cat in the eye or notice a peculiar bird following you along they’re probably there to protect you.





What happens when you die? That is, when the memory of you fades from existence? What would you do in order to preserve the memory of you?


Kenny Gould is a writer and journalist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he’s pursuing his MFA at Chatham University. In the past, he’s written for Thrillist, Time Out New York, Gear Patrol, and mental_floss, among others. He also enjoys teaching yoga and brewing beer. Follow him on Twitter at @thekennygould or online at www.kennygould.com.


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Dog Superstitions


They are ‘man’s best friend’ and have been thought so for thousands of years, but did you know that there are several superstitions around dogs? Here are some of these superstitions:


Howling near the front door – many dogs bark when they hear the doorbell or a knock at the door, but has your dog ever just approached the door and proceeded to howl for no reason? Howling near a door is considered an ill sign, foretelling a major calamity, possibly even death.


Howling at the moon – it’s not just wolves that howl at the moon. Dogs howl at the moon as well, but you don’t really want them to.  When a dog howls at the moon it means death is near for someone close.


Dog whining during childbirth – most people give birth in hospitals these days, but it’s not strange to labor some time at home. So, if you are in labor at home and your dog starts whining it means your child will become a criminal.


Dogs know whom to trust – if a dog growls and backs away from someone that person is not to be trusted.


Supernatural superpowers – it’s said that dogs can sense ghosts, and they can even sense when someone in the house is in danger.


Ever had a dog follow you home? If so, it’s a sign of good luck.


Finally, seven years bad luck to anyone who has ever deliberately killed a dog. The only exception is a veterinarian who puts dogs to sleep in order to end their suffering.


Be good to your dogs and all of our pets.



March Post – Collected Poems

Benjamin Blake was born in July of 1985, and grew up in the small town of Eltham, New Zealand. He is the author of the poetry and prose collections, A Prayer for Late OctoberSouthpaw Nights, and Reciting Shakespeare with the Dead. He currently lives in a cabin, somewhere in the New Zealand countryside. Find more of his writing (and photography) at www.benjaminblake.com


Pinhole Camera

Stolen smile
Through primitive light-capturing devices
More teeth than needed
Eyes cast to the ceiling
Cheekbones illuminated by morning
It pours like sullen rain



Dark Chamber

Collecting fingers and hearts
Say hello to the spiders
The reek of amateur alchemy
And freshly cut flowers
Stocking spun over French limbs
Black cats climb into carnal caves
Somewhere in Utah
A waitress is fatally stabbed
And left to bleed out on the checkered tiles
While the patrons
Just sit and stare