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Podcasts

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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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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Too Many Ghosts

He’d paid more attention to the knife, and the face he’d brought forth from the wood, than to his left hand trembling as it gripped the cottonwood branch. The blade went into the side of his thumb smoothly, and if it had been wood he would have immediately realized he’d chosen his materials poorly, because […]

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The House That Jessica Built

“We discussed this, Mark. She’s acting out because she’s trying to radically redefine herself.” Rue knelt down by the upstairs banister and pushed her face between the bars. She used to feel a certain sophisticated glow from being driven across town for grief therapy sessions—it satisfied her to trudge into Dr. McKinley’s office with all […]

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The Sound That Grief Makes

Caleb had been dead for two weeks when I started pretending to be his ghost. After the funeral, Hudson couldn’t sleep. I lay in my room and listened to my son crying. Quiet tears. A big boy suddenly aware that solid things can snap and break and bleed and end up buried under freezing earth. […]

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The Spindly Man

They let us use the community center to talk about books. It made sense. What I was doing, it was pretty much community service. Not the kind mandated by a judge. This was more self-imposed. Eight months ago, not drunk or in a rush or driving through the rain, I’d skipped through a stop sign […]

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Floodwater

It’s been raining for two weeks now. Shiny, stabby rain, so that when Momma gets me and Benjamin out of the car we have to run for it so our skin doesn’t get all red and blotchy. At first, she laughed when we came inside, and her hair glimmered like a fairy’s. I knew mine […]

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Postcards from Natalie

Of the first six postcards from Natalie, I only have three. Mom was able to intercept the other three while I was at school or, after June, working a shift at the Tractor Supply Store. I wouldn’t even have known about them except that she made sure I knew, saved them until I got home […]

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Between Dry Ribs

I wipe the drop of sweat from my eyebrow, shift my stool so I can watch the American family in the mirror behind the bar. Most of the tourists who wander here from the Dutch side of the island choose to sit on the patio. Most tourists chose another place entirely; the Belle Vue caters […]

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Birds of Lancaster, Lairamore, Lovejoy

The first bird was made of glass. It stood waiting atop a scuffed dresser in the yard on Lancaster Street, and at once Kay hefted it in her hand. It felt good there, heavier than she’d expected. The owl’s wings were tucked away and its head gazed into some autumnal wisdom that she couldn’t see. […]

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