Matt Dovey

home about stories

Stories

Homebrew Wine Recipes for Favourable Effects, from the Regrettable Life of Mrs Poulman

Dandelion Wine, To Capture the Eye of A Gentleman

5 gill of twinkling dew from the petals of roses, tulips, peonies &c. as available in early Spring. The more admirable the flower, the greater the effect. Only to be collected on a clear morning when the sun shines down, for it is that glimmering essence you require to capture the eye of dashing Mr Poulman as he passes your market stall on a Saturday, and who sends his footman instead to purchase your jams and preserves when you are so anxious for a moment of his time directly.

Read the rest at Arsenika, Issue 2 →
(exclusive until 13th August 2018)

Fantasy; 997 words; first published 10th February 2018 at Arsenika, Issue 2 →; podcasted 10th February 2018 at Arsenika →


Winter Witch

I feel their grief moving through the forest. It is like a buried splinter tugging at my skin, working its way further inside. In part this is my deep intimacy with these woods, nurtured through all my thirty years, and in part it is the soft sound of their sobbing, carried through still air that is thick with pine and decay and more.

Their sputtering car could only bring them so close in these dense trees, and now they walk the narrow paths to my cottage. The cadence of footfalls on soft mossy ground tells of something small being carried.

There is only one thing so small and heavy with sorrow.

Continue reading →

Fantasy; 1473 words; first published 22nd August 2017 at PodCastle #484 →; podcasted 22nd August 2017 at PodCastle #484 →


To the Editors of The Matriarch, re: Allegations of Pressganging

42nd of Autumn, 16th year of Annabelle II

Regarding yr/ article of 37th of Autumn, and the ongoing judicial case around consent and "press-ganging":

I have served in Her Majesty's Air Navy for two decades now, and am considered one of the foremost Captains amongst that glorious sorority, so I write with authority on the topic of naval employment and sailor acquisition.

Continue reading →

Fantasy; 400 words; first published 1st June 2017 at Daily Science Fiction →


How I Became Coruscating Queen of All the Realms, Pierced the Obsidian Night, Destroyed a Legendary Sword, and Saved My Heart's True Love

No shit, there I was, knee-deep in necromantic weasels in the lair of the mad wizard-king, when Korgar and Elutriel both decided it was time to win my affections once and for all.

Elutriel had summoned an aura of resistance, an iridescent bubble free of weasels. He struggled forwards, heaving against the weight of their wasted furry bodies.

"Push them into the flames!" I shouted, pointing with Hrrnngnngrrrndr, the Sword of a Hundred Thousand Agonies, at the fire-trap Korgar had triggered as we entered the room.

But Elutriel ignored me and waded toward Korgar instead. He used the aura to shove a wave of writhing, stinking flesh before him until it piled up and over the granite-slab shoulders of the Vhunken warrior.

Continue reading →

Fantasy; 5368 words; first published 15th February 2017 at No Shit, There I Was (Alliteration Ink, ed. Alex Acks) →; podcasted 25th April 2017 at Podcastle 467 →


Squalor & Sympathy

Anna concentrated on the cold, on the freezing water around her feet and the bruising sensation in her toes. So cold. So cold. So cold, she thought. A prickling warmth like pins and needles crackled inside her feet. It coursed through her body to her clenched hands and into the lead alloy handles of the cotton loom. Each thought of cold! kindled a fresh surge of heat inside and pushed the shuttle across the weave in a new burst of power. Anna's unfocused eyes rested on the woven cotton feeding out of the back of the machine. It looks so warm.

The constant clacking of looms that filled the factory changed tempo, quieted slightly. Anna glanced to her right, where Sally White worked.

Sally was standing, her feet still in her water bucket, and talking to herself. "Sodding thing, gone and jammed on me again. No wonder I can't meet numbers." She was peering into the loom at where her shuttle must have caught.

"Here, let me help." Anna took her bare feet out of the bucket and stepped over. Her own shuttle slowed and stopped as she released the handles.

Continue reading →

Fantasy; 9096 words; first published 3rd May 2016 at Writers of the Future v32 →; podcasted 2nd August 2016 at Podcastle #427 →


The Lady & the Moon

Ella raced up the forest path and dropped her armful of branches and twigs in the firepit. Granddad was still a ways down the hill, his creaky legs making him slow, so Ella lay down on her front at the cliff's edge, where the long grass tickled her chin. The salty summer wind blew her hair into twists like rope as she looked out over the sea. Small white clouds floated beneath her, skimming over the surface of the water, their tops picked out in copper by the setting sun.

A huffing and a puffing behind her meant Granddad Judd had made it to the clifftop, so she sat up and turned to face him. He eased himself onto a weathered log by the firepit. A large conch shell on a length of twine swung loose from his baggy shirt as he leaned forward and took a bottle of seaweed wine out of his bag.

"Ella," he said, bottle shaking in his hands, "how old are you now, girl?"

Continue reading →

Fantasy; 2115 words; first published 28th April 2016 at Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores (subscription required) →


Elm & Sorrow

I am waiting for you. In the grove where you made me, in the tree I am carved in, I stand and I wait. The season turns to autumn and the leaves gather round my feet, but I will not forsake you.

My first sensation was the touch of your fingers on my face as you drew me from this living elm. You stroked and caressed and shaped the wood with tools of burnt Indian rosewood, sculpting my body into the trunk. I could not yet see, speak nor hear, but I could feel your hands on me even as I became me, brought forth beneath your fingertips.

You fetched two acorns from the oak on the hill, and with them you gave me eyes. I saw you, beautiful in the golden summer light of this vale, your delicate face lit by slanting rays of sunlight.

Continue reading →

Fantasy; 2112 words; first published 29th October 2015 at mattdovey.com →; podcasted 17th November 2016 at mattdovey.com →


Search

About

Matt Dovey is a professional writer of short science fiction & fantasy, and the Golden Pen winner for Writers of the Future v32. He is very tall, very English, and probably drinking a cup of tea right now. His surname rhymes with Dopey, but any other similarities to the dwarf are purely coincidental. More →

Latest Story

Pick only the ripest, blackest berries, the ones that leave kisses like blood on your fingers, the ones that hide in the shadows of leaves, behind spiders' webs you will tangle and destroy in your fury and haste.

Homebrew Wine Recipes for Favourable Effects, from the Regrettable Life of Mrs Poulman

Subscribe

Sign up to the newsletter:

or subscribe with RSS.

Narrations

I met Molly in a real dive outside Zeta 5, called Braker. The kinda joint that sold untaxed synthetics. Clientele smoked but Braker never bothered to filter their atmosphere. When you could breathe, it smelled like grease and heated metal. It was on a moon, always in shadow. Red bioluminescent bulbs years past their expiration, provided the ambient lighting. I was just there to refuel my Boxer. In retrospect, she probably followed me there.

Horror on Habitat Seven by Zach Chapman
StarShipSofa #503

Blog

Anatomy of a Golden Pen award fermi paradox free harm homebrew interview lessons new story news nonsense podcast politics responsibilities retrospective science science fiction waffle wotf32 writing

Twitter

Facebook

Random Story

Amira knew that for a lie. Degradation took years of bit decay, even in Jovian radiation. The synaptic data was remarkably resilient to corruption.

The Ghosts of Europa Will Keep You Trapped in a Prison You Make for Yourself