The Sacrifices

By Mike Allen

The resin encased our heads

after the steel bars bound us

temple-to-temple. Every twitch

wrenched our neighbors’ necks.

Ankle-deep in concrete, we became

a ring of pillars, living dolmens.

We couldn’t see the worshipers

who shuddered between us, but their

shriveled souls brushed our skin,

like dried leaves. Like moth wings.


Mike Allen wears many creative hats, and at least one of them, tailormade by his wife and partnerincrime Anita, features a large bejeweled spider. Together they run Mythic Delirium Books, an imprint that’s home to the Clockwork Phoenix anthology series and acclaimed fiction books by C.S.E. Cooney, Theodora Goss and Nicole Kornher-Stace. A World Fantasy, Shirley Jackson and Nebula Award finalist, Mike has written several poetry collections; a novel, The Black Fire Concerto; and short story collections UnseamingThe Spider Tapestries and Aftermath of an Industrial Accident (forthcoming 2020). Follow his publishing exploits at, writing adventures at, and all of the above at @mythicdelirium on Twitter.