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Fiction

The Mysteries

1 It is that unnamable time of a late December morning, that nighttime hour that bleeds into tired dawn. My great-great-great-great grandmother sits in the living room, in the dark. I hear the rustling of her ancient newspaper as she turns each delicate page. The furnace has shut down after its daily muted roar, and […]

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The Thinker

He waited for the knock on the door. Not the front, but the padlocked one upstairs, which led into the guest bedroom. Even with rags stuffed into the air vents and tape pressed over the cracks of the door, a stench percolated throughout the house. The stench of a gradual resurrection. Before they stored their […]

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Caro in Carno

“That is not dead which can eternal lie . . . ” —H.P. Lovecraft, “The Nameless City” My name is Caroline Eve Arkwright and I am thirteen years old. I prefer to be called Caro over Caroline and I don’t like the name Eve at all. I’ve insisted to Nan that I be called Caro because I’ve recently begun […]

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If We Survive the Night

It’s autumn, and all the dead girls are kneeling in the yard. The sun is orange, low in the sky. It is Afternoon Contrition. Heather doesn’t know what year it is. She died in 1987: fucked out on a camp cot, sticky and unprepared. Not that anyone can prepare for a masked man and a […]

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We is We

We’re moving again. Doesn’t matter where. For us, in our trailer, one place is the same as the last and the last and the next and the next. One place is all we know. We’ll move till we don’t then Cyrus will sell tickets and you will come. I grasp this future easy. You’ll walk […]

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Can Anything Good Come

My father used to say that whatever has night before its name can’t be trusted. I believe him. He has, after all, spent more days on earth than I. And it’s in living with this directive that I abstain from all things nocturnal: night classes, night parties, night vigils. No sir, thank you very much. […]

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A Discreet Music

And how can body, laid in that white rush, But feel the strange heart beating where it lies? —W. B. Yeats The dark bloodless taste of widowhood had coated Hiram’s mouth for three nights when he awoke alongside that cold gulf of bed. He knew at once some kind of change had visited as he […]

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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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A Wisdom that is Woe, a Woe that is Madness

The tower rises from the edge of the cracked salt sea, a single tree wasting to sticks at its stony side. Surprise washes through Ismail at the tower’s sudden appearance; his well-handled map shows the tower over three mountains more, nestling within the heart of a black, bramble wood. He expects to slice his path […]

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Little Digs

Three generations are buried on Wheeler land, starting with Great-Grandaddy Winston, the only one to live up to the surname. A far-traveller, he was. Crossed seven county lines to reach Napanee, carting a new wife, her faith in the old gods, and a wagonload of beehives along with him. Winston named his first and only […]

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