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Fiction

In Syllables of Elder Seas

To pass the wet hours crammed in his bottle, Aitch counts cylinders. Tonight, only those he can actually see get tallied: not the darkened hurricane lamp dangling on its chain, not the perforated lid screwed tight on his jar. With some effort Aitch can tilt his head back, turn it side to side, but down […]

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The Language of Endings

The first time my husband tells me he loves me, I am already dead. He does not know I am in the house, tucked away in the sickly sweet smell of the honeysuckle he’s carried into our bedroom. His mother told him all his life it was his favorite, and so he believed her and […]

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The Witch Moth

The Black Witch moth can grow up to 16 cm. and is known as “La Mariposa de la Muerte.” —Encyclopedia Americana The Black Witch moth should be seen at night when it cannot be seen because it is so black. In the daylight it is a hole in the universe, one that leads to a […]

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The Name, Blurry and Incomplete in His Mind

When Jentri was ten her father, having run out of things to say, told her about the name he’d once found written in pencil on the wall above the basement sink, and about how he’d often wondered if it was still there. “Maybe you should look,” she said, and he did, and she followed him. […]

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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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