Category Archives: short stories


Birdwatching in Budapest

This story is second in a series of ‘travel mythologies’ that seek to blend travel writing with local mythology. Art by Jono Hunt.

Birdwatching in Budapest / Zachary Fillingham / 2013

It wasn’t easy convincing my wife to visit Budapest.

At fault were a few lingering misconceptions, most of which could trace their lineage all the way back to the Cold War. It didn’t matter that I spent the first 13 years of my life there. Budapest was simply on the wrong side of Europe. She wanted Paris or Geneva – with their plazas, cafes, book stalls, and the street corners where this or that artist famously succumbed to exposure – not the Soviet brutalism and soggy cabbage rolls of an imagined Eastern Europe.

Continue reading

RedditTwitterBlogger PostDeliciousDiggFacebookWordPressShare

The Weird Sisters of Bulgaria

This story is first in a series of ‘travel mythologies’ that seek to blend travel writing with local mythology. 

The Weird Sisters of Bulgaria / Zachary Fillingham / 2013

Bulgarian folklore tells of a thread weaving the fates of all humanity into one continuous whole. Watching over it are three sisters called the orisnizi, who together are responsible for assigning destinies to newborn babies on the first night of their lives. Theirs is not a job that lends itself to universal popularity, particularly among the downtrodden, the luckless, the addicts, and the otherwise wretched, so it should come as no surprise that over the years people have taken to calling them witches, or the “weird sisters.”

Continue reading

RedditTwitterBlogger PostDeliciousDiggFacebookWordPressShare

The Blitzen Confessional

The Blitzen Confessional / Zachary Fillingham / 2013

Forgive me Odin. I have let you down.

It would be better to tell the full story: how things were when we started, and how it all fell apart. But there’s no time. They’re already here, the whole fascist troop by the sound of it, screaming orders and pounding on the door with those tiny fists. Once they break in and see the old man… Well, that’ll be the end of it.

Continue reading

RedditTwitterBlogger PostDeliciousDiggFacebookWordPressShare

Growing up in Blue

Growing up in Blue / Zachary Fillingham / 2012

No one could recall there ever being two presidential candidates with such divergent platforms, not in the entire two-year history of the Order of National Salvation. On one side there was Stephen, who believed that the best policy for uncertain times was to re-assert the principles that had made the Order great: tradition, exclusivity, and a sense of duty towards building a better Canada. Pierre on the other hand was primarily concerned with the Order’s dwindling membership. He wanted to stop the bleed of members being lost to Scouts Canada and build the Order’s ranks back up to pre-1968 levels. One of the ways he sought to accomplish this was to extend membership rights to girls on the basis of full equality.

Continue reading

RedditTwitterBlogger PostDeliciousDiggFacebookWordPressShare