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Fiction

Girl, I Love You

My best friend, my blood-sister, decided to make the Ultimate Sacrifice to destroy Asami Ogino. We were drinking chuhai on an overpass, and as the world roared beneath us, Yurie showed me the letter she planned to send to the Ministry of Education. It was a four-page, four-year chronicle of the sins Asami had visited […]

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A Performance for Painted Bones

Fade in. The street is ermined in thick fog. The corner of a building solidifies through the mist, all filigree balconies and tall, winking windows. Hibiscus and hydrangea droop over the ledges like spent revellers. Figures begin to appear through the fog, most in pairs, some alone and others part of clamourous crowds. They are […]

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Hans

Hans usually enjoyed road trips, especially late at night in the snow. He liked the quiet hush of the engine, the shush of the tyres on the wet streets. Father played the radio low, little more than a murmur. Something local with lots of talking. A comforting sound. Hans could doze in the back of […]

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Seams

In the morning, I hang out my skins to dry. I watch them, soft and paper-thin, draped on the drying rack: the older ones have become almost translucent, they cast a pinkish glow on the floor. The latest acquisitions, still thicker and barely worn, remind me of satin—in everything but the experience of putting them […]

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The Beautiful Thing We Will Become

Katrina’s father started taking her skin when she was thirteen. “Research,” she told me when I poked at the gauze wrapped around her forearm and then took another bite of her sandwich. Mrs. Papillo shot a look our way and frowned, a witchy finger pointing to the red card at the head of our lunch […]

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In Your Wake We Sin

The jinn came to Madiha just before dawn. She sat frozen, covers pulled up to her chin with trembling hands. The jinn stared at her with insectoid black eyes that were much too big for its small, angled face. Thin lips, flat nose, papery skin stretched taut. Its legs ended in black hooves. And then […]

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When We Taste of Death

Two lines of Death on a mirror. No one could mistake it for something as mundane as cocaine. Death is blood red and the experience depends on the user—what they’ve eaten, how much they weigh, how many hours of shut-eye the night before, some kind of crazy biochemical magic or madness that defies explanation. Drowning, […]

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Queen Midnight

“They say its eyelids have gone down another meter,” Abi said, her voice echoing in the stairwell. “It’s just a matter of time. Maybe in three years, it’ll finally close its eyes and stop giving us nightmares.” “Are you looking at Bakunawatch again?” Mimi asked, the balloon squeaking in her hands. Abi raised her cell […]

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The Lark Ascending

Denton explains: it starts a few billion years ago when the Earth swallows a moon or a planet or an asteroid. Something immense. They know it was immense, and they know, a little bit, what it was made of. They know it happened because of the Earth’s magnetic field or the aurora borealis or something. […]

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The Bone Beaters

Tentzin urged his yak up the mountain before dawn, high above the prayer flags and incense cauldrons of the staging grounds. It was spring, but too early for funerals to be conducted. Those who died over the winter would need to be brought up the mountain soon, or the weather would get too warm. He […]

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