Step right up to the modern freakshow — We have mermaids, monsters, and more. You won’t be disappointed, but you may not get out alive.

UnCommon Bodies presents a collection of 21 beautifully irreverent stories that blend the surreal and the mundane. Together, the authors explore the lives of the odd, the unbelievable, and the impossible. Imagine a world where magic exists, where the physical form has the power to heal or repulse, where a deal with the devil means losing so much more than your soul.

 

Includes (In No Particular Order)

We is we by Michael Harris Cohen: We is We follows a day in Mary and Millie’s life, traveling sideshow freaks who’ve lost touch with the outside world.

Don’t Touch Me by Bey Deckard: Fighting is what Beau does best. The very thing he dreads is what lends him the extraordinary strength to defeat even the worst odds. And he does it all with the help of his angel, the woman he longs desperately to hold… but can’t.

Undead Cyborg Girl by Kim Wells: When she wakes up undead after receiving a cyborg assassin upgrade surgical procedure, Undead Girl’s life is forever changed. Is it for the better? She has all the skills, but she needs a job, some friends, and to remember who she is. Part 1 of the Cyborg Story trilogy.

Skin by Brent Meske: After constant bullying in high school, Patricia vows to change her name and her entire being. When she gains the ability to mold and sculpt flesh, that vow becomes a terrifying reality.

Scars: First Session by Jordanne Fuller: After a life of abuse, Abigail made the decision to cover her scars with tattoos. She didn’t expect to confront her emotional scars in the process.

Mermaids by Robert Pope: Recently graduated from college, with no work prospects, Aqua-boy—so called because of the webbing between his toes—watches and listens to a group of musicians at a bar/restaurant when he notices the woman playing a diminutive red accordion has six fingers.

In Her Image by Vasil Tuchkov: An English Ph.D. student arrives at the scenic but haunting countryside of Matera, Italy, looking for answers. His translator introduces him to a crippled local painter who claims to have depicted the impossible. As the three men converse near the ancient settlement’s caverns, a mystery unravels.

Three Poems by Deanne Charlton: It Runs in the Family, Brenga’s Body, Eternity in a One-night Stand

Reserved by SM Johnson: It’s been five years since the accident that killed Pete Spencer’s younger lover and left him grieving, bitter, and broken. He’s tired of his lonely world, but the kind of young men he’s attracted to dismiss him the moment they see his cane. Pete’s learned to hide behind the safety of his reserve, but he’s never met anyone like Rory.

UnTamed by Laxmi Hariharan: Wolf girl Leana Iyeroy, the first half breed in her family, only ever wanted to be 100 percent human. An unexpected encounter with the Hugging Saint of Bombay forces Leana to face the wolf inside her.

Ruby and Deidre by Robb Grindstaff: A shorter than average man admires a taller than average woman from afar.

All The Devils by Keira Michelle Telford: It’s 1889, and women are being killed in the East End of London. They’ve become the targets of a deranged sexual killer, but why? Because they’re prostitutes? Sapphists? Or something else entirely?

Ruby by Bob Williams: It’s 1936 and the town of Ransom, Oklahoma, is barely functioning after the “Dust Bowl” storm the year before. Michael Wootten sits on the porch of his dilapidated house and watches a caravan of trucks pull into town. Melvin Mitchell Presents: Ruby and her Amazing FreakShow Friends. Maybe this is just the thing to pump a little spirit into the near-dead town. But everything comes at a price, and Ms. Ruby always takes her cut.

Phantom Pain by Philip Harris: Amputee, Mariana Jacobs, visits a man who claims to have information she needs. But that information comes at a cost.

Daedalus’ Daughter by P.K. Tyler: After her father’s death, Isha begins sprouting feathers.

The Zealot by Chris Godsoe: FBI Agent Tobin Maldovan has relocated from Maine to California in the hopes of convincing his ex wife to give him another chance. Still licking his wounds from a failed manhunt for the computer hacker ATLAS, Tobin finds himself tailing an even more dangerous criminal, a serial killer dubbed “The Zealot”.

Made for This by Sessha Batto: On the heels of unimaginable loss comes reinvention. Sometimes the gain is worth going through hell.

Unbreakable Heart by Rebecca Poole: A cyborg must escape her creators in order to survive.

Saltwater Assassin by Samantha Warren: Syren has spent her life as a sideshow freak, caged in a saltwater tank and gawked at by hundreds of normal humans. She has a secret, though. At night, when the lights are finally off and the fair goers leave, she turns into a human–a mermaid assassin.

The Well-Rounded Head by Sally Basmajian: A woman is smitten with her husband’s big, entirely round head. One day his temples appear slightly indented so his head is no longer a perfect sphere. This revolts her, and she moves into their guest room to avoid him. When he breaks in, she kills him in a most bizarre way.