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Fiction

The Embalmer

Henry didn’t think of himself as an embalmer, not really, embalming was a sort of hobby for him, nothing serious, nothing more than a pastime. If someone asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up he would not have said an embalmer. He would have said an astronaut on most days because […]

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Lucky Girl

“What’s she up to now?” Adina asked her fiancé Mike. “Four? Six?” He winced. “Eleven.” Mike’s sister Natalie had attempted suicide on eleven separate occasions, each time using a different method. Cutting her wrists, knocking back three family-size bottles of Tylenol, hanging herself with a hospital bed sheet, jumping into the Columbia River with a […]

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Mary, Mary

Mary was tending the sweet peas in her front garden when the new neighbours arrived. Or rather, she was supposed to be tending the sweet peas. She was supposed to be pinching out the tips to encourage branching because bushier plants gave more flowers, especially if she picked them regularly. She had a particular fondness […]

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Skins Smooth as Plantain, Hearts Soft as Mango

The beast in the folds of Harry’s gut had no heart and it did not need one for his was strong enough to keep them both alive. It had neither heart nor mind nor eyes to see; it was only lips and teeth and fingers like needles that slipped inside his tongue and his bowels […]

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Tekeli-li, They Cry

They tell me the future is broken. Will be broken. Has always been broken. I was wide awake the first time they spoke to me and have been every time since. They come from there, then, when the future is broken. Which is now because the break stretches in every direction. That’s what they tell […]

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Ghostling

Welch fucks the ghosts in the orchard. Before, it was the alleys, but the bricks of the five and dime were rough and the alley ground too wet and cold. In the orchard, it’s all long grasses gone to gold, the softness of rotting trees and fruit underfoot. The apples taste like cider, intoxicating if […]

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Harvest

Ours was a house of whitewashed wood, rotten and peeling in spots, five acres of feed corn a tall moat between it and the nearest neighbors. I died to give you life in that narrow home, my Evram, with its steep staircase that you managed by the age of two. At five you raced down […]

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A Lasting Legacy

Ogu knelt down in his canoe, letting the waves fill his ears. Today, he would prove himself worthy to be lead machi. Rubbing his hands together, he said a silent prayer. If all went well, one of the elders would be calling his name for all to hear his glory; with such an esteemed position, […]

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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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