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Twilight Travels with the Grape-Paper Man

When he appeared, the grape-paper man, I was half in half out of the fig tree in my grandmother’s courtyard. He stopped short in the war-rutted driveway and announced, “Layal! What happened to the snotty rascal I remember? You grew into a little lady.” “Who the heck are you?” I asked. “Why do you even […]

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Child of Thorns

The cabin’s single room was small but three people in it made it smaller still and Jessie’s screaming made it worse, filling the room—what was left of it to fill—with a jagged howling that just about tore the world apart. “You gotta push harder, Jessie-Belle, come on, girl.” “It hurts—” “I know.” “It hurts like . . . […]

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Little Digs

Three generations are buried on Wheeler land, starting with Great-Grandaddy Winston, the only one to live up to the surname. A far-traveller, he was. Crossed seven county lines to reach Napanee, carting a new wife, her faith in the old gods, and a wagonload of beehives along with him. Winston named his first and only […]

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A Wisdom that is Woe, a Woe that is Madness

The tower rises from the edge of the cracked salt sea, a single tree wasting to sticks at its stony side. Surprise washes through Ismail at the tower’s sudden appearance; his well-handled map shows the tower over three mountains more, nestling within the heart of a black, bramble wood. He expects to slice his path […]

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