DEADNAME BY ANYA LEIGH JOSEPHS

tw/cw: Deadname contains themes of Transmisia, Deadnaming & Misgendering


They’d seen Emily Everett.

There had not seemed to be anything unusual about her. She was spotted sitting in the family’s well-appointed living room, in the tastefully-beige armchair, facing her father on the tastefully-grey couch, perhaps saying something to her mother in the stainless-steel kitchen. Her back was to the window, so passersby—not that anyone would admit that they had peeked through the window—could see nothing of her but her long, blonde hair and her slender shoulders in a cream-colored cardigan. But her father was smiling.

It was good to see Professor Everett smile, the town agreed. He was a nice man, and he hadn’t been quite the same since his daughter up and ran off to the city. It was good that she had come home, where she belonged. Where her people were.



Deadname is the twenty-third of the announced features in The Needle Drops... Volume One that peels away the friendly smiles found in suburbia to uncover the insidious truth beneath. With Short Fiction, we explore the various subgenres of horror in creative and unexpected ways.


Who is Emily Everett? To some, a missing girl resigned to the bumbling unconscious of small town Dogwood Grove, now only relevant within circles of gossip and whispers, through cautionary tales ever-twisted between blubbering mouths at grocery stores and in school yards.


Until, seven years on from the disappearance, rumours bubble back to the surface - suggesting Emily has returned home, and that a grand wedding awaits. A fairy-tale ending for the Everett family, their polite legacy secured, redeemed; one all too precious to simply let go. Not now.


The truth, however, lies with but one: Asher -- a name Dogwood Grove is hungry to consume, to bury and forget like so many before. Ignorance is bliss, after all, and nothing will upset the serene façade of suburbia...


A fairy-tale ending for the Everett family, their polite legacy secured, redeemed; one all too precious to simply let go. Not now.