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Fiction

Yǒngshí

We go by many names. But our most common name is Time Giver—though this is only half true. It has been fifty years since I finished his huà—painting—and fifty years since the village burnt down. With the survivors, I slaved to restore what I had ruined and vowed never to offer time or love again. […]

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Nails

hear here are some of the things my nails can do: —push through the backs of the cockroaches that run around my room. They’re crunchy at first and then slip-smooth and soft inside. Their they’re fast but I’m faster —when I lie really still in the dark I can feel my heartbeat in my nails, […]

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In Whatever World You Choose

The first time Minna holds someone’s fortune in the palm of her hand it feels like a living, breathing thing trembling against her palm. As though she’s holding a small animal instead of a deck of cards. “I want to know if he likes me,” the girl sitting across from her says. “Can the cards […]

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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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Brief Lives

When you put the lighter to it, it spits and hisses on the spoon, gives off a sweetish, rank smell. Congeries of bubbles appear and from each as it bursts a tiny figure stretches and claws its way free; they writhe, leap upward like a salmon in pain, then collapse. There’s thousands of them upon […]

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Yahoo Plus

I Banji has been scamming for well over six months and he is not far from where he was when he began. His clients pay cheap money: two divorced women from Newton Abbot sent a fifty and a seventy pound itunes gift card, respectively; a fifty dollar card from a young woman who works in […]

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The Screaming Tree

My brother phoned me to explain the situation: about the vault, about the lack of a plaque. He caught me mid-morning, as I was under the influence of a bad night of sleep, and I heard him while resting my forehead on my hand; resting, then, the full weight of my head, of my exhausted […]

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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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The Other Side

My mail box is full of papa’s whisperings. Even now that I no longer need them, they are voices refusing to acknowledge my silence. Dear Daughter, I am trying this again. Sometimes I sit for hours, not knowing what to write. How to write it. I imagine your reaction. I write. I crumble. For each […]

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Divine in the House of Hunger

I When you come to Lagos from the heart of Osogbo, you know you’re going to have to work till your knuckles bleed, till the bones in your back go sour, if you want to survive in that jungle. You have been to Abuja, Benin, Ibadan, Ilesha; offering your services of impeccable housekeeping. Then Aunty […]

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