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Fiction

Red String

“You again? You don’t understand ‘no,’ is it? Why you keep coming here?” Mrs. Ong growls, fists propped on generous hips, lipsticked mouth a crimson wound. “Also, what you want me to do with those?” “Put them in a vase?” The man is narrow as a joss stick, with thinning hair and a grave stare. […]

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These Bones Aside

The entire village ushers Bina to The Thousand Skin Tent, the men with their lanterns and grave faces, the women with doughy infants suckling bare, sloping breasts. Children dart between their legs, their eyes glittering and wide. They are silent. Yagra told her there would be silence. At the top of The Great Hill, The […]

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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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