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Fiction

Fragile Masks

“Woolf.” The word caused Paige to flinch in the passenger seat. She scanned the leaf-carpeted banks of the road, looking for signs of movement. “It was Virginia Woolf who took her life that way, not Brontë,” Jon explained, “my mistake. Wait, did you think I saw an actual . . . ” “You gave me a start,” she said […]

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The Beckoning Green

1961 I am six years old when, one summer afternoon as the sun beats down and rolls sweat down my neck, my sister yells, “Catch, Judith!” She launches her porcelain doll at my head. I am one second older when it slips through my fingers and shatters on the concrete driveway at my feet. I […]

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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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