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Fiction

All My Relations

Fish are bloody and fleshy and briny. The belly meat is fatty, the guts are sharp and acrid. But they barely sate my hunger. Only the flesh of your skin-sack kin does that. It’s been so long. I look at the stringer of fish: some weke nono, an uku, a scattering of kole. The weke’s […]

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The Price of Knives

We see, sister to sister, salt to salt. We live as gut and gill and long hair fanning weed-like in the water. We are linked hands and tails, our eyelids thin and delicate when we close them in the deep, veins like a forgotten map—have you ever sliced something so bao that the light from […]

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Our Town’s Talent

It’s always the final event of the school year, which means it’s late June and it’s hot and sweltering when we gather outside the gymnasium doors, dressed perhaps too informally in our summer skirts and blouses. Our children have been preparing for the annual talent show for weeks, though for some of us it seems […]

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Pomegranate Pomegranate

This is what she knows: Do not immediately repeat a word. Do not immediately repeat a word spoken by someone else, and do not allow someone to repeat a word you’ve just said. Do not allow yourself to hear your own echo. These rules will keep you alive. Words cannot be trusted. Give them a […]

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Tiger, Tiger Bright

The first thing you learn as you climb out of the chasm is that there are fingers to pull you down. They are icy, taloned, the poltergeists of lives past and regrets buried. Your skin sloughed off long ago and your bones grind together, wearing down, but that’s fine because once you reach the light […]

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Tether

Tori sat on the concrete floor of the metro station, eyeing the furry purple spider standing on her knee as a lump formed in her throat. This one was the right color. People passed just feet from where she sat with her spider immigrant of the day. Commuters almost always milled around the metro stations […]

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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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Thin Places

The knock on the schoolhouse door came an hour after dismissal, and Miss Augusta hesitated for a moment before answering. She had never met the child who stood on the threshold, but she knew already that the girl’s name was Lilianne Eisner, that she had arrived in Branaugh only yesterday, and that she was not […]

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The Dead Kings

(translated by David Bowles) “The first time I saw my parents cry in silence, I knew that I was now an adult. “They didn’t see me, of course. They hid in order to weep. But when you’re six years old, you tend to discover everything your parents try to keep from you. “They had built […]

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