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Fiction

A Study in Ugliness

Ugly girls will never be happy, insisted Ms. Leocádia, standing in front of the blackboard. Simply put: never, ever, ever. And ugly, they knew, could mean a number of things: too short or too tall, too thin or too fat, too square or too round, with a big nose or a line for a mouth, […]

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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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Immortelle

You buried me in the cold, hard ground. The March wind was blowing, sharp as a slaughter knife, bringing the scent of snow from the mountains over the sea. You dug a shallow grave among the gnarled roots of an olive tree. My sheep bleated in distress as you laid me down, they cried Murder! […]

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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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Little Doors

He’s gone as if he was a magician presenting his last trick, disappearing in a cloud of smoke. He’s gone. Gone in the snap of a finger, leaving nothing behind, no marks, no evidence. He’s gone and what is left is the book. At first, Shawn’s mother keeps the book. She keeps other things, too: […]

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Where We Will Go On Together

It was the smell that woke her, an unfamiliar floral scent that made Eddie grab the first thing which came to hand—a sourly rank pelt—and bury her face in it, feeling it grow damp with drool and the flow of her tears. The light from the clocktower outside washed in over the mattress where she […]

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A Resting Place For Dolls

Nydia stood in line at the crepe stand, just outside her office. The sun turned her skin into sweaty syrup, as thick as the caramel sauce that was being poured on the Apple Cinnamon special. Of course, the heat wasn’t the only thing weighing her down. She had been watching his shows since she was […]

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One Last Broken Thing

In elementary school, the other kids called Liv’s home that haunted house out on Barnhill Road. Liv herself has never seen a ghost there, but not for want of trying. They called her father lots of things: Freddy Krueger, Charles Manson, David S. Pumpkins. Now that she’s in high school, the other kids call her […]

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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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Laughter Among the Trees

The highway to the campground cuts through the granite Laurentian Plateau like a desiccated wound. It’s been twenty five years since I’ve retraced this road and, though the comfort stops along the route have been expanded and streamlined, the forest and rock remain the same: Ancient, silent and unflinching. I was fourteen when we retreated […]

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