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The Emperor's New Clothes Issue - Table of Contents

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Enchanted Conversation is excited to present The Emperor's New Clothes Issue this month! This issue offers stories and poems by authors who took this classic fairy tale in new directions with their unique ideas. 
What happened to the Emperor after he took his infamous walk through the town? How does a cunning Empress inform her subjects on the "real" fate of the Emperor? Is a son bound to follow in his father's rusty footsteps even though he knows it would be wrong?...and just why is nude the new black...plus four other tales and poems for our EC readers. Enjoy!


RE-COVERED Kiyomi Appleton Gaines
AN ILLUSION Deborah L.E. Beauchamp
NUDE IS THE NEW BLACK Erin Wyble Newcomb
"BUT HE IS NAKED," the child chanted Rebecca Buchanan
MY HUSBAND, THE EMPEROR Gerri Leen
THE EMPIRE'S NEW EMPEROR Sarah Deeming
WHERE DID THE WEAVERS GO Amelia Gorman
A TALE SPUN OF WHOLE CLOTH Nancy Brewka-Clark



Note: All of the accompanying art in this issue was created by Amanda Bergloff, contributing …

Re-Covered, by Kiyomi Appleton Gaines

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The king had stood naked and vulnerable before his people. The only person who acknowledged the exposure was a small child, and he was quickly hushed. There were rumors that to directly look upon a member of the noble family would render one a fool, or blind, or unfit for service; it would cause one's deepest shame to be revealed, would cost one's inheritance, or render one sterile and heirless. He exposed himself to them all.

The experiment in vulnerability was not considered a success. He wanted to convey that these rumors were not true, were unfounded, yet only prevailed in terrorizing his entire kingdom. He was only a man like any other, he wanted to say. But no, his wise sister insisted, he was not like any other man. He was a ruler, and thus, he must rule. The people did not want to serve and follow a man like themselves; in fact it would be dangerous folly to do so. Common men were built for common matters, equipped for planting and harvesting, for managing crops and ani…

An Illusion, by Deborah L.E. Beauchamp

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She was a stunningly beautiful girl dripping in gold and pearls and clothing from the finest collections; her name on everything, like an infection.
When she spoke, they gathered around, listening to every word, to every sound, What she says must be true, what she wants we must do.
She had everything that they sought-after, so they copied every move, even her laughter.
How she talked, how she walked, how she dressed, how she obsessed but they weren't any happier perhaps less.
Nothing had changed it was all just a game.
So be happy about who 'you' are, it may be tragic but that's the only magic.




Deborah L.E. Beauchampis well past the age of a ‘new’ writer but her experience plays an integral role in her work, shaping her thoughts that she paints on the paper. Deborah writes poetry, children’s books and is a photographer.
Art by: Amanda Bergloff



Nude is the New Black, by Erin Wyble Newcomb

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The Emperor is always in fashion Because he tells us what’s new, what’s now. This season, skin is in. We’re naked as the day we were born, but That’s not a simile. It’s a statement About where we stand between the lines The spring and fall collections.
The Emperor is always fashioning A new collection of lines. What’s new now? This season’s skin is so last season, So next season we’ll all be stripped bare, which Is just another metaphor, A statement regarding transparency And reading between the lines. Each collection embodies a new line.
Spring and fall, the Emperor is fashion, Because he tells us so. The new and the now Make way for next season. We’ve got skin in this game. That’s just a colloquialism, A statement piece to remind us of the dangers Springing and falling For another collection of lines.
The Emperor fashions himself an emperor. He’s what’s new and now and next Because seasons are cyclical. We always circle back to naked, which Sounds dirty, Except for the existential dread about the Line between vi…

"But he is naked," the child chanted, by Rebecca Buchanan

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Glamour shredded, unwoven, he stood exposed, pale in his vanity, feet bare and bloodied on the stones.
Sated, satisfied,  the tailors slipped into fae, to the sharp smile of their queen, needle bright as she sewed her tattered heart  whole again.




Rebecca Buchananis the editor of the Pagan literary ezine, Eternal Haunted Summer. When she is not writing, she likes to sit on her front porch and listen to the mad rantings of ravens.

Art by: Amanda Bergloff



My Husband, the Emperor, by Gerri Leen

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"My husband, our Emperor was a good man. A fine man. A...well-dressed man. Of all the accolades I could heap upon him—and there are many names I could call him at this juncture—being considered the height of fashion would be the attribute that counted the most to him."

Darling, come to bed. We'll never get an heir if you stand there all night mesmerized by your reflection. You care about an heir, don't you? Or do you wish for me to rule? Of course, I'm only joking. Please come to bed. 

"He was a generous man—and forward leaning. Although some of his ministers tried to pressure him into making it impossible for a woman to ascend to the throne, he preferred to favor equality. He knew I would have the empire's best interests at heart."

I'm terribly sorry, my lords, but the Emperor is in his closet. Yes, of course you can leave that bill here. I'll let him know he needs to sign it. Thank you—it means the world that you see me as humble and dutiful.

The Empire's New Emperor, by Sarah Deeming

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Father’s body lies in the crypt, observing the traditional three days wait to ensure he is dead and not in an enchanted sleep. He isn’t. I was there when he keeled head first into his turnip soup. I watched him for a long time just in case he needed saving, but there were no air bubbles. So, there is no need to wait before his interment, but it doesn’t hurt me to observe this tradition, nor the one about the amount of incense that should be burnt to mask the smell of decay. Also, it gives me time to think while the capital holds its breath to see what sort of emperor I will be. I’m not sure, if I’m honest. Father expected me to rule as he did. A change of management, not management style. He had been a stern emperor, formidable, cold, heartless. I believe it wasn’t always so, but then The Event happened, and everything changed. Father was the only person who openly spoke of The Event. He told me he was young and foolish, listened to other people too often, and allowed them to influence…

Where Did the Weavers Go, by Amelia Gorman

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The Jacquard loom rode us out of cottages. Warp gave us weapons, their eyes were sharp. Weft urged us on in rows; we went to war on a many stringed horse. They took us prisoner in bright cities with birch bars holding us in. Our labor’s fruit, once familiar was taken from our bodies too soon.
The air loom drove us out of our minds. Warp whispered to us in the dark. Weft pushed us into the sunset, word is there are still some places without street lights, where a weaver can still find work. Where an emperor asks for clothes worthy of his shine. We’ll work our bones back up to fingers.
You asked us for the impossible wove possible. You gave us only enough gold to twine the yards.
What would be left for us after we cover you? We can’t feed our children nothing. We can’t spend nothing.
Just enjoy the sun on your skin. Just go forth in nothing while we walk away glittering.




Amelia Gorman writes stories, poems, and code in MinnesotaYou can read more of her work in Liminality Magazine, Eternal Haunted Summer, and…