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Fiction

The Demon L

I was thirteen and a half the first time I killed a man. It was an accident and I was dreadfully sorry about it at the time. L, I was called. It was spelled with more letters than that, but L is what it sounded like. I’d lived a childhood pretty as a picture, even […]

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Every Exquisite Thing

1. Dublin June He had been surprised at how rapidly he had forgotten her as a physical being. There were dozens, hundreds, of photos, of course, to remind him what she looked like, but unless they were in front of him, he found he could not recall her face. He would try, and fail, and […]

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On Full Moon Nights

Three in the morning. A quarter heavy with sleep, heaving its groggy way into the sunrise. Little Tatu lying on her bed, eyes open, heart racing. Then she hears it—the hum soft and low, like a slight breeze in the air. And then there she is, the dead girl, alive. She only comes to her […]

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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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