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Podcasts

Snake Season

We buried the first ones, nice and proper. It sounds foolish now, but what could we do? After all, they were still our children. I even dressed my Sarah for the occasion—decked out in her Sunday best, yellow cotton bright against the dark brown of her skin, pattern hand-stitched to cover a mismatched body. We […]

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Molting Season

There he is in the tub. Note the pores on his nose. Note the scarred cheek, the breakout here and there, angry ripe things red with a dot of white all ready to burst. Note the long hair, which I tried to wash last night; I’d put his head under the faucet, let the cold […]

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Necksnapper

Delayna snapped the first crow’s neck without thinking about it. She had learned this from her parents. Before they robbed and prostituted their way out of her life and into prison, they had taught her to ignore the weight of sin and instead focus on doing what needed to be done to get by. Their […]

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The Whalebone Parrot

[Emily Riddell’s Journal] June 26th 18–– A.D. Today, on a teetering skiff, I reached Whalebone Island. Mister Franklin crosses the inlet twice a month to deliver mail and supplies. In three years, he has never seen Loretta’s face. She hides behind a veil. Why? Squeezed to near-transparency between the distant sky and sea, Whalebone Island […]

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Ghostling

Welch fucks the ghosts in the orchard. Before, it was the alleys, but the bricks of the five and dime were rough and the alley ground too wet and cold. In the orchard, it’s all long grasses gone to gold, the softness of rotting trees and fruit underfoot. The apples taste like cider, intoxicating if […]

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A Performance for Painted Bones

Fade in. The street is ermined in thick fog. The corner of a building solidifies through the mist, all filigree balconies and tall, winking windows. Hibiscus and hydrangea droop over the ledges like spent revellers. Figures begin to appear through the fog, most in pairs, some alone and others part of clamourous crowds. They are […]

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In Your Wake We Sin

The jinn came to Madiha just before dawn. She sat frozen, covers pulled up to her chin with trembling hands. The jinn stared at her with insectoid black eyes that were much too big for its small, angled face. Thin lips, flat nose, papery skin stretched taut. Its legs ended in black hooves. And then […]

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The Bone Beaters

Tentzin urged his yak up the mountain before dawn, high above the prayer flags and incense cauldrons of the staging grounds. It was spring, but too early for funerals to be conducted. Those who died over the winter would need to be brought up the mountain soon, or the weather would get too warm. He […]

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The Name, Blurry and Incomplete in His Mind

When Jentri was ten her father, having run out of things to say, told her about the name he’d once found written in pencil on the wall above the basement sink, and about how he’d often wondered if it was still there. “Maybe you should look,” she said, and he did, and she followed him. […]

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The Lily Rose

Wolf Street Orphanage was a house exploding with girls. The skinny tall brownstone stood crooked on a street of other brownstones, its striped curtains concealing rooms full of long hair and exuberant voices. When Headmistress Lily Rose made her thrice-daily rounds to check on her girls’ progress with their reading of Upton Sinclair and their […]

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