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Podcasts

Hundreds of Little Absences

Mandy finds the jar of baby teeth in her mother’s sock drawer, the week after she turns eleven. Daydreams about a frothy fairy with butter-blonde curls leaving coins under her pillow have long since evaporated; this is the first of many horse girl summers. The jar, white china with hand-painted blue flowers, is nestled between […]

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Send in the Clowns

This is a work of the author’s imagination, an alchemy of memory and soul’s longing. Beth joined the turn-lefters, pulled off the highway, and found a park beneath a giant fig tree before the twins even registered. Then heads turned like open-mouthed clowns. Confusion; at last, the dawning. They’d been restless, constrained by seatbelts and […]

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Lace, Comb, Apple

There was nothing here but swirling grey fog, and me. The laces around my waist were cinched so tight I could hardly breathe. A comb threaded through my hair, and in my hands I held an apple. For the longest time I sat in the haze, listening to silence. Then, footsteps. Your face swam into […]

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Eating Bitterness

Every evening we tie Mama down. It’s my job to fold a clean rag for her to bite on, so she won’t hurt her tongue. Three folds, hot dog style. Now that I’m thirteen Baba even lets me place it between her teeth. Ray, four years younger, is too little to do anything except watch, […]

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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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The Urn

I dusted the window panes and rolled up the curtains because Akwaugo was visiting. I first met her at the Lagos book festival. Someone in the crowd had stood up and asked a question on race in Africa, especially in black Africa. Did it exist? If we were all cleped ‘dark skinned’, was racism existent […]

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Crooked House

I always said I got to get out of here, but that was just talk. Now I for sure mean it. Anyway, I’m almost sixteen, so I have to go. Ma and Pa say sixteen is the limit for boys staying in the house. My two older brothers took off when they hit sixteen, one […]

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Forward, Victoria

Time means less when you’re dead, and you’ve been dead a long while. Someone always brings you back, though. This go-around, it’s two little girls with a Ouija board, playing at your grave. Victoria Waite, Victoria Waite, kill my parents so I can stay up late! The rhyme has changed again, it seems. It doesn’t […]

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A Cold Yesterday in Late July

All I knew about Ashby-by-the-Moor was that my father had insisted on being buried there. Or rather, his will had insisted. It amounted to the same: me trying to squeeze into a parking spot beside a band of village green as cold February rain slanted across the windscreen. Not that there were many people there, […]

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The Yoke of the Aspens

It’s autumn again, or at least the aspens are dropping their leaves as if it is. You will soon be saying that we must get warm for winter. You will ask me, again, the question that I am still too afraid to answer. Beyond the copse of aspens, I still think of myself as the […]

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