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Fiction

The Many Murders of the Self

Content Warning: Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence. I The first one to die is the little girl. The executioner watches her from behind a curtain made of bobbin lace, delicate white threads interwoven in a fine translucent layer that, in normal circumstances, would not hide anyone. The child can’t be seen, not yet. She’s […]

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Mulo

His uncle Tom died after a series of long and painful illnesses, so he went back to the town in which he grew up. It was a big family, but with this death all of his father’s many siblings were now gone. He thought this was a good time to “reconnect,” though if you asked […]

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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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Master of Ceremonies

Obiajulu suns his microphone for the funeral at Amesi. The instrument has grown weightier as if his words form invisible skin layers around it. Its original black colour now fluctuates, pocked in places to reveal a dermis of steel. He likes the windscreen best. It rubs his lips at ceremonies. The grating caress flips Obiajulu’s […]

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In Farrow

It was an accident, seeing the pig. He’d been at the farm as part of the loan application process, assessing the site, having the farmer show him around, show him the proposed location for the new barn, although the barns they already had looked more like warehouses to Martin, like something you’d see on an […]

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Xiǎo Èmó—Little Demon

I: Flood There were dead flowers by the foot of my parents’ grave—the same kind as the living ones I held in my hand: jasmines. No one found their bodies after their disappearance while on a trip to the neighbouring village, so their grave took the form of a fokienia with their initials marked on […]

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Black Wings

Sheila was upset by the sudden arrival of a new bush in her backyard one late afternoon, an unidentifiable perennial apparently so deeply green it appeared black in the waning light. She had purchased no such bush. It did not fit into her landscaping design. Had some practical joker planted it in the middle of […]

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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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Douen

I see Mama in de cemetery when dey put de white casket in de ground. She was crying so hard she was shaking like when grandma died and Tanty, Mama’s aunt, had to hug Mama up tight, tight, to keep Mama from falling down. At grandma’s funeral, Tanty say, “Doux doux Shalini, yuh have to […]

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Mother

Mother brushes my hair, one hundred strokes with the silver comb, each night before I go to bed. She does it while I’m sitting at my vanity, counting off strokes one at a time in that bored, flat voice of hers. Sometimes I like to watch us in the mirror as she does it, a […]

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