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The Spelunker’s Guide To Unreal Architecture

In time, the dedicated Spelunker will grow to instinctively recognize unreal architecture, senses picking up the minutiae that others miss. Wind coming from impossible directions; shadows cast at awkward angles; a dearth of wildlife; a strange doppler effect to sound, as though distance between source and listener stretched like taffy. Details and nothing more, but […]

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Our Lady of Wicker Bridge

There were stories about Wicker Bridge Estate, always had been even before there was an estate. So many stories and for so long that it was hard to tell if what you were being told was new or old. Something that smacked of urban legend might well have its roots in ancient tales of demons […]

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In the End, It Always Turns Out the Same

Five children have gone missing since the school year began. The youngest, only six; the oldest, no more than ten. They all went to school together, but all in different grades. The only thing they have in common is that they all rode the school bus together every day. Richard McGinty reported the first child […]

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Your Damnation Will Be Infinite

The body in the bathtub is starting to smell. I have been staring at it for hours, trying to forget that not too long ago the body had been he and not it, but that does not seem to be working. When he died I dragged it into the bathtub, leaving a trail of blood […]

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The Name, Blurry and Incomplete in His Mind

When Jentri was ten her father, having run out of things to say, told her about the name he’d once found written in pencil on the wall above the basement sink, and about how he’d often wondered if it was still there. “Maybe you should look,” she said, and he did, and she followed him. […]

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The Bat House

“There,” said Bedelia, stepping down off the ladder and dropping the hammer and extra nails back into the toolbox. “I’ve always wanted some bats in the yard.” Patience frowned up at the side of the house. Mid-way up the second story, a tall, narrow box now hung in the full afternoon sun. “You’ve never said […]

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A Shot of Salt Water

Accordions unpleated welcoming songs the day the mermaids returned. The first notes droned joyful at dawn, played by young men with wool collars unrolled against the wind. Mattress-clouds bulged above land and water, miles of damp cotton dulling the fishermen’s music. As the sky blanched, fiddlers sawed harmonies, horsehairs screeching on weather-warped bows. Bodhráns were […]

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In the Dreams Full of Sleep, Beakless Birds Can Fly

It was when the child was dying that the woman who spoke to spirits came. It is always when children are dying that women who speak to spirits come. They don’t knock. They scratch at the door with their ragged nails, or whistle a three-note tune outside the window. Any other children are immediately sent […]

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Home at Gloom’s End

The vendors on Angler Row sell the best fish this side of the Evergloom. The other squids might tell you to go over to Benthos Plaza, but there’s two things wrong with that: one, that place only sells meat that’s been dead for a month, and two, it’s on the opposite side of the Grand […]

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Mourning Flags and Wildflowers

While the men were stitching the mourning-flags, the leading women of the village gathered on the hillside, the same hillside where Arrani had always sworn that in summer nip-berries could be found growing in the shade of the sliver-barked whistling trees. None of the other women had ever discovered any nip-berries there, but each summer […]

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