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Fiction

Gangler

He turns, head raised, inhaling. Shale and sedge underfoot, and then a tight slope down to the line of scrub before the hill breaks off into the forest of the valley. The branches flex and quiver above us, praying into the dark. The scratch of bramble on my bare calf, a line of sweat on […]

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The Concert

The double line of stationary vehicles stretched for nearly a mile along the narrow access road before disappearing into the distant woods. Andy’s car sat in the right-hand lane. He was boxed in by a blue minivan on the left, a white two-door directly in front, and a black-bodied, chrome-grilled, muscle car directly behind. The […]

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The Little God of the Staircase

“Love and hate are so entwined that if thoughts could kill, we’d all be dead in the bosom of our families.”—Dr. Sigmund Freud It was the first thing I ever saw in my analyst’s office, and I was struck that anyone would embroider a phrase like that into a sampler, the embroidery thread all in […]

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Last Train to Glory

London, 1854 Luella lamented that seventy-one was too old to receive the news about Cross Bones Cemetery, with its dead poking out of the ground. The family lawyer, Arthur Barrows, had come to her townhouse one evening last week and in his usual mordant manner informed her that due to the new Burial Act, a […]

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Father’s Flow

Insolent pattern, this: the spackling of corrupted metal where his lips wetted it every night. Insolent comfort, too: the way the boat extended an internal pipe of dragon-nail or chitinite or some such, it didn’t matter, from the tumble of planks that made the walls of the hold. This is where Anefthyn suckled. This is […]

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The Farewell

Millie’s daughter came back twenty days after her death. This was not surprising, since everybody came back twenty days after their death. What was surprising, though, was that Ariana chose to come back as a young woman, even though she was only ten when she was struck by a passing car. The driver had been […]

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Shape-shifter

It was a smell at first, a reek climbing out of Cheta’s body. Like the stabbing whiff of rats’ urine. Something, sharp enough to draw blood, clawed at his skin while he slept. Then it stretched out even though Cheta was not willing to cede any space for it. It prowled his physical world as […]

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Swim the Darkness

We don’t choose the skin we live in, she’d said. Our little fish girl. She knifed through water like a hungry seal, sleek and black. Our little fish girl, swimming the darkness. It had started as a small pinkish patch of skin on Olivia’s cheek. It was diamond-shaped, the size of a small button and […]

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A Game at Clearwater Lake

We were in fifth grade the February we played hockey on the lake. It was Ryan, Becky, a few other girls in our class, and I. It was my idea. Recently, I had seen curling on TV for the Winter Olympics and thought we could figure out how to do it with real stones and […]

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Ídolo

They were up in the mountains when the storm broke, under a clear blue sky. “So what the fuck happened in New York?” Renzo asked him, thumping the steering wheel. “All this dancing around. Why don’t you just come out and say it?” He flicked his eyes, dark and full of Iberian fire, at Drew […]

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