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Fiction

The God of Low Things

It was the prairie dogs’s own stupid fault. Can an animal kill itself? Trevor was pretty sure this one just had. Trevor could have been a hawk, or a dog off its leash, or even a car, and the prairie dog would be just as dead, and it would have been just as unintentional. Just […]

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For All His Eyes Can See

Peter wakes up in the darkness in an empty bed. He’s knocked the sheets off again, and he lies there naked, imagining that he has been prepared for surgery. He doesn’t know what they can do for him, but he needs someone to do something. But even in dream and imagination the doctors never come. […]

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The Stories We Tell About Ghosts

Growing up in Dieu-le-Sauveur, my friends and I told stories about ghosts—the Starving Man, the Sleeping Girl, and the House at the End of the Street. The summer I was twelve, I saw my first ghost for real. That was the summer my little brother Gen disappeared. The first official day of summer, the day […]

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The Last Epic Pub Crawl of The Brothers Pennyfeather

My brother is waiting for me in the cold; didn’t bother him then, doesn’t bother him now, even with the wind snatching billowing steam from right under my nose. Me? I get the cold, and the cold gets me. The fingertips that I don’t feel against my gloves, even when clenched into fists and pressed […]

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The Swans

“Be careful, little man, I don’t want you falling in.” The canal was shallow at the bank where they stood but still deep enough to worry about, Helen thought. And four or five feet deep in the middle; plenty reason enough to insist Charlie wore his lifejacket at all times on deck. Standing here on […]

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Vain Knife

Stab here with index before you tuck into foul feast. x Hour at which the blind see, when night unfurls her wing and goes out, silent as shaft of moonlight. Hour of the witches’ feeding; on primal pain, on corrupt love, on toothless cherub child. Circle the table crone, with your face uncovered. Lay the […]

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Empire Down

In his dreams she walked down inland highways, sticking her thumb out at cargo trucks shuttling bananas and sugarcane, untying her hair. It was always dusk, and she never cared where she was going. Just as long as I’m going. Restless spirit, you know. Vagabond. Michael heard clattering and opened his eyes. An old native […]

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Sea Glass

A windchime played through a crackling speaker. Frozen leaves kicked by tiny feet. Vida’s quarry—her fucking quarry, as if it was going to run away—had a sound distinctive enough, persistent enough, that she knew it was there even in the imperfect shifting darkness outside the circle of her flashlight. She was almost sure this wasn’t […]

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The Crow Palace

Birds are tricksters. Being small necessitates all kinds of wiles to survive but Corvidae, in all their glory as the raven, rook, jay, magpie, jackdaw, and crow have greater ambitions than that. They have a plan. I used to go into the garden with Dad and Pippa every morning, rain or shine, even on school […]

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The Hurrah (aka Corpse Scene)

In the only photograph that I have of my mother, she is covered in blood. Her frizzy brown hair is flattened black with gore, her rosy cheeks now suffused with a redder hue. The only things spared from the Carrie-at-prom-night dousing are her brown eyes and white teeth; the former wide in terror, pupils expanding […]

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