The Girl of Rust and Bone

It would seem that you have people too, Who grieve a woman not lost.

There are stories told, on nights dark and cold,
Of a being all alone.
She will grant you a boon, under the light of the moon,
A girl of rust and bone.

I crawl under the wire, past burning tires
To the desolate, barren zone.
Closed off from the folk, due to poison and smoke,
To a girl of rust and bone.

No man’s land, where they made a stand
Hundreds of years ago.
With salted earth, nothing left of worth;
Nothing green will ever grow.

So desperate am I, each night I cry,
For poison knows no borders.
It’s leeched into our homes, breaking down chromosomes,
Leaving me in pain and disorder.

My parents whisper, that unlike my sister,
I’ll never be a bride.
So I snuck out our home, to search and roam,
Lest I be cast aside.

My pace is steady, the feeling heady,
Of exploring forbidden ground.
It must have been hours, until I found her tower.
My heart begins to pound.

Debris, scrap, and forgotten crap,
All piled high to make her throne.
And sitting there, on a decaying chair,
Is the girl of rust and bone.

I climb up the heap, and though it was steep,
Never did my legs falter.
The metal twice in my hand did slice,
So I came, bleeding, at her alter.

Her gaze is distant, almost resistant;
Her mouth a small, sad frown.
I can see in the din, it coats her skin,
Rust of orange and brown.

She moves with a creak, and my knees feel weak,
Withering under her gaze.
Her bones are white, reflecting moonlight
Where her skin has begun to abrase.

I bow down at her feet, my voice croaks as I bleat:
My lady, I come seeking your aid.
The smoke taints my locks, and my face marred with pox,
See how my beauty does fade?

After I ask, her face is a mask.
I can’t take how the silence has grown.
Then comes a laugh, for I am but chaff
To the girl of rust and bone.

I too was young, the songs they sung
Of my cheeks plump and pink.
But after the war, I was beautiful no more,
So they banished me to the brink

They abandoned me here out of hate and fear,
Mourning the loss of the woman they’d known.
But I wasn’t dead, I was reborn in red:
The girl of rust and bone.

It would seem that you have people too,
Who grieve a woman not lost.
But they are mistaken, your power will waken
If you are willing to pay the cost.

At my hand she does point, blood still flowing from the joint,
Where I had sliced it open in my climb.
I can take your pain, but your beauty will wane.
Would that really be such a crime?

I thought for a bit, whether I should commit
To never curing my ablation.
I look deep in her eyes and begin to resize
My original valuation.

The specks of rust are fairy dust
That sparkle like precious stones.
Through the holes in her skin, I see fire within
Dancing and skipping on her bones.

She smiles at me, and I feel so free.
I decide to accept her bargain.
I hold out my cut hand, and like a grain of sand
She drops a mote of rust in.

For the rest of her days, she will teach me her ways.
My fate has been sealed in rust.
It grows now inside, and my pain has died.
No more do I feel disgust.

Years gone by, not a day have I cried.
No longer does she rule alone.
I sit by her side, with love and pride
For my girl of rust and bone.

There are stories told, on nights dark and cold
Of a being no longer alone.
She will change your life, and end your strife:
The girl of rust and bone.

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Issue 2.3 Paperback

Order the physical and epub edition of Issue 2.3, including access to downloadable desktop and phone wallpapers of our beautiful cover art created by the amazingly talented Katerina Belikova (aka Ninja Jo)! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Featured In

Issue 2.3 Paperback

Drink to your past, jump off a train, and suture yourself together from the best parts you can find. You’ll learn about a revolutionary artist’s career and get an inside peek into the daily life of renowned surgeon and recovering human flesh addict, Dr. Baba Yaga.

Play a bizarre new mobile game, seek a boon from The Girl of Rust and Bone, and trust a ghost hunter (or don’t). Chain your father up in the guestroom, write a letter to your mother, and visit the devil at the riverside.

Whatever you do, don’t taste the tea, disregard the whispering lake, and try real hard to keep your picadillo down.

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A woman and her illegal child attempt to make it past Border Enforcement.

The Girl of Rust and Bone

It would seem that you have people too, Who grieve a woman not lost.

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