Mythical Stories for the Modern Age: A collection of short fiction

Illustration by Ryan Bauer-Walsh

Legends never die—they just take on new meaning in changing times. What follows are excerpts from three original short stories by Minnesota writers who draw their inspiration in equal parts from the distant past and the present day—be sure to click the link to find the full stories.

Heikki Lunta Sinks a Ship

Late one autumn night, the snow god Heikki Lunta and his son Heikki Lunta Jr. found themselves at the top of one of the tallest Porcupine mountains late at night. Heikki Lunta was surveying the pine-strewn countryside and feeling the wind currents in preparation for the first major storm of the year. But before he could make his final reading, he realized that he and his son would need to wait until dawn, which was several hours away. Read more…

The Rose Ceremony

“Wait! You haven’t seen The Bachelorette? We have to watch it.”

Out of desperation to meet a deadline at the PR agency where she worked, Ani remembered her grandma’s stories about Astghik, the ancient Armenian love goddess, and summoned her to help with some Valentine’s-themed social media posts. That was Friday. Now it was Monday, and Ani still hadn’t figured out how to send the goddess back. So she did what she always did on Monday night. She ordered Thai food and introduced Astghik to The Bachelorette. Read more…

The Lake Monster

There was a recent sighting of the Lake Monster so Christina and I drove to Pepin and rented a boat to see if we could find it.

“Log, log, another log,” Christina says, her eyes up to his binoculars, scanning the water. “So many stupid goddamn logs that kind of look like lake monsters.”

Last week was Christina and my fourteenth wedding anniversary. To celebrate, we bought 200 scratch-offs and drank a bunch of Scotch. Christina drank a bunch of Scotch that tasted like burnt leaves and I drank a bunch of Scotch that tasted like a burnt bomber jacket. We scratched lotto tickets until our forearms ached and then we took a Lyft home and fell asleep watching the news. Read more…