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The Wilderling

The kid appeared on the first of May. LP was in the kitchen, doing the dishes in desultory fashion, cursing Kurt’s refusal to shell out for a dishwasher (“Already got one and she cooks too,” accompanied by a slap on the ass was his standard reply), and staring at the overgrown foliage of the back […]


An Open Coffin

General Estiano hired me to take care of the body, but he avoids speaking to me. The only times we did talk was by telephone, when he insisted that this job would require my full attention and care. “A family matter,” he said, “I’m sure you will understand.” What awaited me in the front room […]

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After Life

This time, he thinks before he opens his eyes, this time he’s made it to Duat. For a moment too, he almost believes it. There is the scent of the goddess’ perfume melting slowly over her head. There is the desert grit that coats his face before it is carefully wiped away. And the priest’s […]

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The Crying Bride

Is your tape still running? Oh, they don’t use tape anymore? That’s clever. Very good. But really, you came all this way to interview me about the family and what happened to the land and now we’re talking about ghosts! Now, in the twenty-first century, the magic future century we were all promised? No. I […]

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Burrowing Machines

There was a strange agitation to London that summer from the very beginning, a hormonal moodiness, a belly heat, if cities could be said to go through such things. We had enough sunshine to roll around in, but twilight snapped to dark between one sentence and the next, like someone’d tossed a quilt over the […]

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Russula’s Wake

They hadn’t been naming the barn cats, now that Ainsley and Devon were old enough to know the difference between taking care of and caring for something. In the afternoons, when the school bus doors opened to release them, the children hurried through all the feeding and mucking and cracking and cutting, then closed up […]

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The Only Way Out Lies Farther In

She was seven years old, and if only she hadn’t seen the sign then none of it would ever have happened. The grounds of the country house were vast, limitless-seeming. They had already been inside the house itself, had eaten lunch in the cafe, had explored both the lower and upper gardens, and had made […]

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My mother could do it from the Rorschach of tea-leaves, or from the metropolitan map of your palm, or from knots tied on a piece of string. She’d do it from the tiny flecks of colour on the edges of your iris, clamping you between her work-roughened hands and craning her head back, narrowing her […]

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A Prayer to the Many-Eyed Mother

The plan was this: resign from work, fly to Vegas on her tourist visa, stay with family, and wait for an H1B sponsor to hire her. “And how’s that working out for you?” Alejandra asked. “Well, I’m here, aren’t I?” Ruby said. “So not good.” She sighed. “I’ve been applying to jobs online for months […]

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The Last Epic Pub Crawl of The Brothers Pennyfeather

My brother is waiting for me in the cold; didn’t bother him then, doesn’t bother him now, even with the wind snatching billowing steam from right under my nose. Me? I get the cold, and the cold gets me. The fingertips that I don’t feel against my gloves, even when clenched into fists and pressed […]

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