Story and Poem for the month of July very kindly chosen by Alex Smith (london_calling79):

As Benvolio put it: ‘These hot days is the mad blood stirring.’ At this time of year there seems to be something in the air, maybe it’s Mercury in retrograde, morons in the White House or just the fact that it’s been too damn hot to sleep but I’m not complaining as this month has produced some phenomenal writing here on ABCTales.

My pick for Poem of the Month is Rosa Cruz’s soporific ‘Life Underwater’. The drowning metaphor for mental illness is well trodden but this piece reinvigorates it with the lightness of a dragonfly skimming the surface. Please do check out her debut pamphlet: ‘Surfacing’ available from Lapwing Poetry.

Story of the Month is a tricky one with some heavyweights flexing their muscles and fairies tiptoeing on the peripheries but I’ve had to go for airyfairy’s ‘Round the Corner.’ An enchanting tale which eschews the gaudy standout line for structural crescendo. As a reader you’re moved to just where she wants you, beside her sojourn through York and... well, you’ll have to read it to find out.