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Podcasts

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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The Canary

Ell cried as her pathetic whisper gave out. No, no, no. Jac’s brother Raif clacked his strong beak against her flushed cheek. Pushed. Cawed. Shhhh, gal, shhhh. Yellow-orange light flickered through the trailer’s one window, parking lot bonfires gilding the crow boy’s near-sharpest edge. His face-blade pressed close, closer. Black feathers glinted on head and […]

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The Devil Under the Maison Blue

Gillian notices that no one ever closed Mr. Elling’s attic window. A week has passed since the brief swirl of ambulance lights near dawn. Already his house seems decades older. She’s staring across at it when she hears his voice say, “Lord, child, you about run as far as you can get.” He has a […]

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A House of Anxious Spiders

The children’s fight punctured the cordial atmosphere of the old woman’s funeral. Two small boys, opposite sides of the family, had gotten into a full-blown quarrel. And because they had not yet learned to keep their mouths shut, that meant it became a spiderfight. The old woman had not been that old, but that was […]

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Hani’s: Purveyor of Rusks, Biscuits, and Sweet Tea

In those years of sunshine that battered the streets, and deluges that wrinkled fingers and toes, the villagers never suspected Hafeez of anything more than putting holes in their teeth. He made bonbons and baked bread. The bread was his livelihood, the bonbons for the pleasure of the village children. When Hafeez lacked the gumption […]

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An Ocean of Eyes

One “If I were the mayor, I’d have renamed this town long ago,” announces the man beside me, his chuckle wet with old hurts. I turn to read the scythe of his mouth, his milk-pale skin, his eyes like tatters of the noon sky. A foreigner, most definitely. Only outlanders court strangers in bus stands. […]

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