Yuna Kang ~Seventh Story

They had made a puri­ty of his age. 

That’ll show em, the old, sto­ried, lament.

The streets he mean­dered upon were stone­less. A long time ago, before asphalt per­haps, they might have been tiled with weeds and inde­ci­sion. A tum­ble­weed might have flown past, a bush of fire. Sunlight, hawks, the old sev­en stories.

Let me tell you of the sev­en sto­ries, he feels his father’s hot, alco­holic breath against his throat.

There was a woman pur­port­ed to wan­der the old town Nisenan, clad in white rubies, eye sock­ets light­less with grief. Her face was like a half-extin­guished lamp, throw­ing fan­tas­tic shades of alarm across hec­tic sur­faces. Her face was a tragedy of rage, they had made a puri­ty of it, fash­ioned her vis­age into a ring that smit­ed ene­mies to the left. They became stone-strick­en mum­blers, tongues lolling out, hands tipped upwards in benign sup­pli­ca­tion. They were stat­ues; one could dec­o­rate their lit­tle gar­dens with them, place ivy vines and still pools of starshine around their feet.

Benighted man, he con­tin­ued to speak.

This was the tale of Medusa, our Medusa, the one of the old American West. Some hap­less man had jilt­ed her, sped off with her land and mon­ey and chil­dren. And when she retal­i­at­ed, he gath­ered up all the men he could car­ry, and sev­ered her head off with an old farm­ing ax.

He wears her head as a ring, to this day. He was buried with it, over at old Central.”

But his moth­er told it dif­fer­ent­ly. Pretty woman, with an apron made of pas­tel petals, he remem­bered her bend­ing over the stove, tip­ping a wood­en ladle to her lux­u­ri­ant head.

[of course i don’t real­ly ever think i stopped loving.

I don’t know anymore.]

Of course she was wrong, and as the fog swept white­ly around my unbut­toned shoes, I won­dered what the point of lov­ing was. My moth­er found her­self dead by the wil­lows, blue shoes dan­gling light­ly from the ground. My father had screamed then, andd my eyes. At night, I can hear him singing, liquory-sweet:

Don’t wor­ry, Adrian, don’t wor­ry, don’t wor­ry. Your moth­er is going to find you very, very soon.”

Off-key and kil­ter­ing, the lul­la­by haunts my soul.

I know now that the woman of the sto­ries is Medea, or Antigone, and I saw her once at the old creek. She was beau­ti­ful, and the fog was ris­ing from the Roseville con­crete like a blan­ket. I saw that in her hands, she wore the pearl of her head, final­ly, she had won. I want­ed to win too, so I shout­ed and hollered, jumped over the rick­ety wood­en face that sealed Big Creek away from the world. But as I was run­ning across that American moor, dot­ted with bluedicks and hyacinths, she swept her veil behind her and began to turn away. And the heat grew appar­ent, and the light began to feel dark, and I was back here again, wan­der­ing by the old neon inn, where the peo­ple come and fall. I picked up an old man from the cob­ble­stone floors, (he screamed), and I found a note­book with a lit­tle gold­en pen­cil in its loop. I am still look­ing for Medea, and Antigone, Medusa, and the Earth itself, to this very day.

[I want a pho­to­graph of that time].


Yuna Kang is a queer, Korean-American writer based in Northern California. She has been pub­lished in jour­nals such as Strange Horizons, Sinister Wisdom, and many more. They were also nom­i­nat­ed for the 2022 Dwarf Stars Award. Their web­site link is: