Short Stories

Periodical Forlorn

A Banshee’s Cry

The Periodical, Forlorn
The Periodical, Forlorn 08/03/2021

The Periodical, Forlorn is a bi-monthly literary magazine that specializes in horror, science fiction, speculative fiction, and weird fiction. We publish all varieties of short fiction and celebrate the subversion of traditional literary forms.

The Periodical, Forlorn itself subverts the format of a normal literary journal. Alongside submissions from contributing authors, each issue features excerpts from the magazine’s archive. These stories are told from the perspective of editor Carlisle and his intrepid reporters, Danger Callahan and Ceilidh Campbell. In this literary world, The Periodical, Forlorn is not just a magazine, but an investigative agency, probing the weird and bringing succor to those who run afoul of it.

Put together, the various excerpts from the archives work to build a mythos around Carlisle, Ceilidh, Danger and the world they inhabit.


The night air bustled with the sounds associated with late evening in the city—televisions, arguments and cars roaring on the main street. Darcy stopped at the grassy strip between the sidewalk and the street. The stream of cars had slowed and nothing remained but the silhouettes of dozens of people behind the frosted glass of the entrance. She was unsure of what to do now that she was here. She had not inherited the gifts. She was not her mother, nor her sister. Any wailing she could do would be a poor imitation of the power of a true banshee.

If she’d been a full banshee she would have been able to detect the breaths of the dying man but all she could do was determine that he was still alive. How she wished that she had been the one who inherited the banshee powers, instead of her unwilling sister.

She’d made the mistake of confiding her wishes to her troubled older sibling once. Meara scoffed and spat, “you wish you were a real banshee? I wish you were too! Why don’t you go tell that bitch Clíodhna that? I’d give it to you if I could.”

Darcy didn’t tell Meara that she had already tried asking the queen of the banshees and received no reply. She seemed destined to be the younger sister, without the abilities that made her species unique.

As she started across the street, the door opened and a figure emerged. He had black hair that grazed his collar and confident stride that identified him as Liam O’Neill, the second youngest.

Liam glanced at her coming toward him and a wan smile crossed his lips. “Darcy Brennan, hello. Were you coming to say your farewells? He’s still lucid, but it won’t be long now.”