Katherine Mankiller


Underworld, by Katherine Mankiller
October 14, 2018, 9:27 am
Filed under: short fiction

Originally published in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, January 2015.  (The site appears to be defunct.)


Tucking his computer science textbook and his Book of Shadows into his backpack, Dion dropped the bag onto the floor at the foot of his bed, and launched World of Warcraft. He selected his realm: Earthen Ring. He was number eighty in the queue. Expected wait time: twenty minutes. Stupid server. He glanced over at the wilted plant on the window sill and waved his wand. It perked up.

His mother wandered into the room, wearing a gold lamé evening dress and hose without shoes. He hid his wand behind his back, but made no attempt to hide the glass of wine on the desk, next to the computer. As long as he didn’t get shit-faced, she had no problem with it.

“Honey, have you seen my rhinestone earrings?” She walked over to his dresser, opened the jewelry box, and looked inside, but Dion knew it didn’t have any rhinestones in it. Just some pentagrams and crystals. “Be careful, baby,” his mother said, picking up the pentagram. “You don’t want to attract the wrong kind of attention.”

Blah blah people will think you’re crazy blah. Like there were no Wiccans in college. “You left them on the bathroom sink, so I put them in the medicine chest,” he said. “I didn’t want them to fall down the drain and get lost.”

She dropped the pentagram back into the jewelry box. “Where would I be without my little man?” She walked over and kissed him on the cheek. Then she left, fancy dress rustling as she headed out the door.

Dion groaned. He was nineteen-years-old and six-foot-one; he was hardly his mother’s little man. “You’re welcome!” He could hear her chuckling in the other room. He glanced down at his computer console again. His position in the queue was now seventy-seven. “I’m not going to have to come rescue you again, am I?” (more…)

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