Foxgirl Cycle Song: 1

Trap her in thorn, and she’ll slip her skin
Drown her in water, she’ll learn to swim
Burn her, she’ll turn into smoke and wind
Think you can catch her?
Well, think again

Fox demon, foxy face
Foxgirls don’t know their place
Marry her, bury her
Water her bones
Set your sons over her
Let them to spy on her
Hound her and harry her
Pelt her with stones

Cunning, conniving
A vixen, a villain
She’ll pull out your liver
And eat it with rice
Fingers for turnips
And bowls full of maggots
Your blood in her wineglass
Runs colder than ice

The wide world over
They all try to tame her
Like Lilith and Lamia
Serpent and whore
Arcane she is, dangerous
Ever the demoness
Black widow, blood shadow
Thirsty for more

Seductive illusion
All craft and confusion
She’ll tuck up her tail
And take to the wood
She’ll duck as you’re nearing her
Fuck you for fearing her
Foxgirls are clever
And up to no good

At least, so they tell me
She’s up to no good
But do I believe them?
I don’t think I should

Trap her in thorn, and she’ll slip her skin
Drown her in water, she’ll learn to swim
Burn her, she’ll turn into smoke and wind
Think you can catch her?
Well, think again

(Editors’ Note: “Foxgirl Cycle Song: 1” is read by Erika Ensign in the Uncanny Magazine Podcast Episode 9A.)

C. S. E. Cooney

C. S. E. Cooney (csecooney.com/@csecooney) is the author of Bone Swans: Stories (Mythic Delirium 2015). Her novella The Two Paupers, the second installment of her Dark Breakers series, will shortly be appearing in Rich Horton’s Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy. She is an audiobook narrator for Tantor Media, the singer/songwriter Brimstone Rhine, and the Rhysling Award-winning author of the poem “The Sea King’s Second Bride.” Her short fiction can be found in Black Gate, Strange Horizons, Apex, GigaNotoSaurus, Clockwork Phoenix 3 and 5, The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, and elsewhere.

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