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Fiction

The Wendigo at the End of the Blue Line

You can get to the wendigo on the Blue Line; I usually catch it at Lake & Hiawatha. It’s a slow ride out past the weather-beaten grain mills with the faded murals, the trumpet vine over the fences by the new condos, the sea of white gravestones across from Terminal 2-Humphrey. The riot of green […]

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Reflections in Black

Randall left work early again, feeling ill. Nothing definitive, a general fatigue, a general malaise—that was the word, although he’d never used it before. If he’d stayed in his chair another minute it would have required an army to get him out. He didn’t know where he belonged, but he didn’t belong there. The bus […]

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Stretch

There is a jumbie on the Stretch. Someone will bring it up whenever there is an accident, or a flat tyre or a cracked windscreen. Prayers would be said before getting onto the roadway at night. Drivers strung rosaries from their rear-view mirrors alongside red and black jumbie beads and blue maljo bags. No one […]

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A Few Words From the New Tenant of ____ House

To Whom It May Concern: I’m writing to inform you that I have recently moved into ____ House. I apologize for being circumspect about the name. I should probably just spit it out to make all of this easier, but what with copyright laws being as they are, it feels safer if I leave that […]

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The Quiet Forms of Belonging

For years, I have drowned in everything but water. In oil. In petals. In the thick, golden coat of honey. In Helene’s coarse, almond-scented hair. In the scattering of her clipped fingernails she left on the bathroom counter as yellowed half-moons. Those shed parts she sloughed off and left for me to find when I […]

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The Goatkeeper’s Harvest

The wind shrieks its displeasure as it rattles the house, rattles it like a child in the throes of a tantrum, and we, little gnats in this container of brick and mud, tumble from our huddle by the table. The awful shriek reaches a peak of fury, and within it I hear the abominable voices […]

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Feral

Kush led me into the bathroom on our wedding night. The white tiles and mirrors made me nervous. Then I saw he’d already laid out a steel tray on the marble counter containing syringes, needles, ampoules and packs of dressings. The scalpel looked small and innocuous. My lip curled, revealing my teeth. After Kush’s funeral […]

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Call Them Children

On this island we like to die slowly. Generationally. At the other side of the counter, Mamá stirs sancocho with the candlelight drawing tenderness onto her features. “I am lucky to have you,” she says, “Mi tesoro.” It is, really, all she ever says anymore. It worries her, the soundlessness when we go out. There […]

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An Elegy for Childhood Monsters

Until I was twelve years old, my sister Cecilia read me bedtime stories about monsters. I sat up on the stained mattress next to her, my eyes wide and waiting. We were alone in the house, our father long gone and our mother at her midnight job or her midnight bar. “And what then?” I […]

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Great-Aunt Elsie’s Book of Bevies

Special Gin Fizz—gin, honey (replacement for simple syrup), soda water, lime juice and crushed juniper berries (Egg white if you can, but it’s just as good without) A change of seasons cocktail. I first tried this in the Cotswolds, in autumn. That year, spring barely whisked across the hills and summer was as soft and […]

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