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Nothing is Wasted

He was sitting in one of the booths at the Conqueror, tending a pint, something golden and silty, alone, his phone facedown on the sticky table, his gaze fixed on some invisible object in the middle distance. The door swung to behind me, shutting out an afternoon of implacably overcast sky, of unrelenting drizzle: I […]

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In Hades, He Lifted Up His Eyes

OBITUARY. At special behest, we mark this October 9th, 1832, the passing of one Abraham Farley, eighteen years of age, of late a hired hand in The Prospect of Pye, Smithfield. Farley was laid to rest in Blackshaw Cemetery and will be mourned by his mother and sister in York. “Come to me, all ye […]

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Mal de Caribou

Dorothy is thin, predominantly. Like most rich people in a certain age bracket, she wears fussy, preppy neutrals, and her hair is expensively coloured, though threadbare. Her pink scalp edges out from the corners of her up-do. When she smiles the soft tissue of her face shifts into unnatural shapes; I am able to trace […]

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Knotlings

There came a day, six years into my marriage, when my husband was hit by a van. It skidded on black ice in a car park, and crushed him against a post. He did not suffer, they told me later, in the hospital. Sure, I said. He wasn’t really the type. My son Aaron and […]

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Shrine

At first, she thinks it’s yet another accident, here on this straight stretch of back road treacherous only for the speed it provokes in the young and the impatient. Another accident, right where that Nelson girl was killed last summer in fact, and Lynn lifts her foot from the accelerator, squints her eyes against the […]

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Tooth, Teeth, Tongue

TOOTH “Isn’t this exciting!” said my mother as she plucked my tooth from the flesh of minced pork encased within the half-bitten fish ball. Nestled in the center of my mother’s palm was the small canine. Blood from my gums found a home in the creases and lines of her hand, overfilling them before dripping […]

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Thermophile

It started with him taking forever in the bathroom—thirty-minute showers, an hour in the tub, a shower in the morning and every evening. On weekends, he started having a bath at midday as well. I assumed the obvious thing, in terms of what he was probably up to. But then I added it up one […]

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Missing Dolls Around the World

They found the first coffin in North America, in Vancouver, BC, at a graveyard. The slender mahogany box was no larger than the forearm of a child of ten. The workers were digging up a slot for an upcoming burial of an important political figure that I were hired to document. This was meant to […]

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And A Piece of Coal Where Her Heart Once Beat

Nothing lasts forever. Not Christmas, with its bright lights and spangled promises of good things that never quite come to pass. Not the dreams of magic that it conjures for children everywhere. Not even Krampus, with his sack of coal and his cold heart. Even villains grow old and achy, age softening their sharp edges, […]

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The Catcher in the Eye

I kept my right eye closed because I saw ghosts through it. My parents thought they were imaginary friends I would soon outgrow—they weren’t. But what did they know anyway? “One—or two?” my optometrist asked, switching lenses. “Two,” I said. He repeated the process until I recited the words on the eye exam chart a […]

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