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Sleeping in Metal and Bone

It is summer the first time I dream of hooks at the end of my fingers. The cold metal buried in the soft tissue and then curving outward into a small, delicate point. How I creep through the shadowed damp of our backyard, the odor of soil rich and deep as I hunt through the […]


Otto Hahn Speaks to the Dead

A garden is a beautiful place to die. It was the only beautiful thing about Clara’s death, which otherwise was a bullet and a broken chest, blood spilling over everything, the red scent of iron. Had he been there, he might have vomited. Only might, because the revulsion he felt for death had lessened a […]

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The All-Night Horror Show

Markos Koszjan sits alone on Halloween night and watches himself on the heavy wood-sided TV. On the screen, he is a darkened monolith, his black suit an empty doorway that sucks up all the light, tapering from his broad shoulders to his waist, naturally narrow and cinched tighter by an unseen girdle. At the ends […]

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Do me a favor, Papa, and don’t let them market this as a fucking ghost story, okay? I may be dead, but I’m no ghost. And before you get all defensive here, remember that it was you who first taught me my contempt for ghosts when you proclaimed that ghost stories were no more than […]

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Mother Love

Here’s my mother’s story: picture two snakes fighting on the desert. No one is there to see it; nobody will care about the eventual outcome. Both snakes will bite and maybe poison each other and they’ll end up their lives like that, fangs sunk into each other’s body, both the meal the other wanted. Now, […]

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You Were Once Wild Here

Laura is a dead girl’s name. That’s your first thought when she introduces herself, all smiles, telling you about cheerleader tryouts like you aren’t dressed from head to toe in get-the-fuck-away-from-me. Pretty blondes like her are always ending up dead somewhere, in lakes or forests, murdered by someone who insists they did it out of […]

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The Beckoning Green

1961 I am six years old when, one summer afternoon as the sun beats down and rolls sweat down my neck, my sister yells, “Catch, Judith!” She launches her porcelain doll at my head. I am one second older when it slips through my fingers and shatters on the concrete driveway at my feet. I […]

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On Full Moon Nights

Three in the morning. A quarter heavy with sleep, heaving its groggy way into the sunrise. Little Tatu lying on her bed, eyes open, heart racing. Then she hears it—the hum soft and low, like a slight breeze in the air. And then there she is, the dead girl, alive. She only comes to her […]

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It Is Not So, It Was Not So

1. When she was twenty-one, Mrs. Voss visited a tarot reader at one of the Arts and Culture festivals that a local ladies’ society used to hold on the shore of Lake Michigan some weekends in early summer. The day had been tremendously hot for the season. She can’t remember the future, but she remembers […]

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