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Fiction

No Good Deed

Isobel hesitates outside the grand door to the chamber she’d thought to share with Adolphus. It’s a work of art, with carven figures of Adam and Lilith standing in front of a tree, a cat at the base, a piece of fruit in transit between First Man and First Woman so one cannot tell if […]

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Mother Love

Here’s my mother’s story: picture two snakes fighting on the desert. No one is there to see it; nobody will care about the eventual outcome. Both snakes will bite and maybe poison each other and they’ll end up their lives like that, fangs sunk into each other’s body, both the meal the other wanted. Now, […]

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Joss Papers for Porcelain Ghosts

“Nothing followed you?” Harriet’s mother said, peering up and down the corridor. “No, Mum,” Harriet replied. She looked pointedly at her suitcase, hair clammy around her forehead and neck. She hadn’t slept in nearly twenty hours thanks to the baby next to her on the plane. “Can you let me in?” She had to duck […]

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The Muse of Palm House

The truth is that I’m moving into this old colonial manor to kill myself. I imagine the shock with which Esan will take the news once it reaches her, the guilt that will eat at her until she can no longer be happy with her new husband. I imagine how the art world will explode […]

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Velvet Man

Ghosts know who best to haunt. An old Jamaican friend once told her that. She thinks about this idea a lot, after the velvet man leaves. About what it is to be drawn to something just for you: a perfectly fashioned event, a person, or a moment. It is the kind of thing that people […]

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You Were Once Wild Here

Laura is a dead girl’s name. That’s your first thought when she introduces herself, all smiles, telling you about cheerleader tryouts like you aren’t dressed from head to toe in get-the-fuck-away-from-me. Pretty blondes like her are always ending up dead somewhere, in lakes or forests, murdered by someone who insists they did it out of […]

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The Marvellous Talking Machine

It is across a distance of many years that I remember the events of 1846, and yet it might have been yesterday that I first heard the voice that haunts my dreams. It is not the words that have troubled me so, ever since I was a boy; it is the way they were spoken—and […]

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Logic Puzzles

The daughter hates this new country with its methodical streets and packed supermarkets, hates the way every inch of space has been scrubbed clean of character, hates her teacher who speaks to her slowly and loudly as if she is deaf instead of merely unfamiliar with a language that follows no logic. America is devoid […]

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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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