Short stories by Maria Dahvana Headley

Maria Dahvana Headley is the New York Times-bestselling author of eight books, most recently BEOWULF: A NEW TRANSLATION (MCD x FSG). THE MERE WIFE (MCD x FSG), a contemporary adaptation of Beowulf, was named by the Washington Post as one of its Notable Works of Fiction in 2018. She’s written for both teenagers (MAGONIA and AERIE, HarperCollins) and adults, in a variety of genres and forms. Headley’s short fiction has been shortlisted for the Nebula, Shirley Jackson, Tiptree, and World Fantasy Awards, and for the 2020 Joyce Carol Oates Prize, and has been anthologized in many year’s bests; a collection is under contract to FSG. Her essays on gender, chronic illness, politics, propaganda, and mythology have been published and covered in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Harvard’s Nieman Storyboard, and elsewhere. Her work has been supported by The MacDowell Colony, Arte Studio Ginestrelle, and the Sundance Institute’s Theatre Lab, among other organizations. She's taught writing in the master's program at Sarah Lawrence, and delivered masterclasses and writing lectures at Dartmouth, Northwestern, Wesleyan Nebraska, and Newman University, among others. She grew up in the high desert of Idaho on a survivalist sled dog ranch, where she spent summers plucking the winter coat from her father’s wolf. 

Listing 11 stories.

An immortal woman who can turn herself into water at will mourns the loss of her latest lover, while drugged-out humans perform sacrifices on beloved memories and each other on the beach below her.

A squirrel monkey defeats the competition and fulfills her dream of becoming an astronaut. Based on the true story of Miss Baker, one of the first animals to be launched into space in 1959.

A woman hunts down the wishes she freed ages ago, through the centuries, out to the American west. There she finds, a boy born of wishes, whom she must save before he harms those he think has wronged him.

A woman and her cat run away from an unspecified crime to live on the outskirts of dystopian Earth, a place littered with fear, stale popcorn, and ticket stubs to a circus performance that will never happen.

A couple goes on the run in a 1920s Prohibition Era western fantasy for illegally stealing and trading human emotions, including grief, desperation, and love.

Lonely and sickly, the Andalusian Hebrew poet Solomon ibn Gabirol creates a golem to care for him. But the golem possesses more life than he expected and kills him as well as several others before fleeing and starting a new life.

In a post-apocalyptic near future, a scientist and a young boy find strange creatures among Earth's growing piles of garbage. Eventually, most of the earth's garbage morphs into these monsters and humans must learn to co-exist with them.

Set on Valentine's Day in 1938, the Chrysler Building in New York City walks over to the Empire Buildings to form a budding romance.

The Thirteen Mercies were given to Moses to rid the world of sin. But in a dystopian world, a group of soldiers used the powers of the Reversed Thirteen Mercies to commit war crimes. Now, imprisoned on a hostile jungle island, they await their judgement. The Thirteen Mercies, granted to mankind by God, promises to rid the humanity of sin. But in a dystopian world, a group of soldiers are imprisoned on a jungle island for using defiled spells of the Reversed Thirteen Mercies to commit war crimes.

In a contemporary American town, a middle aged woman takes a magical trip through the past upon hearing that her mysterious childhood friend has recently died.