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Fiction

The Lending Library of Final Lines

It wasn’t a library, not really. And not a lending either—only called that by courtesy, because what was hung up on strings like shark fins was printed: crumpled pages of smeared ink, worn through in places and torn but they weren’t being sold as books because there was only a page of each anyway. The […]

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Funny Faces

The girl is dazzled by the bright displays. They pass a rack of cakes and she cranes her neck. Sit still, says the father. Or do you want to walk? The girl nods. Okay, then you walk, says the father, and lifts her out of the trolley’s seat. Don’t you start complaining about having to […]

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Intrusions

I like to sleep in other people’s empty houses. For a long time now, the only place I’ve found real rest is in a stranger’s bed. It makes me feel safe, being somewhere no one would think to look for me. My own apartment is haunted. It took me discovering an old can of Luke’s […]

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Thermophile

It started with him taking forever in the bathroom—thirty-minute showers, an hour in the tub, a shower in the morning and every evening. On weekends, he started having a bath at midday as well. I assumed the obvious thing, in terms of what he was probably up to. But then I added it up one […]

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The Last Sound You Hear

Connor’s grandfather leaned over him, cracked lips making a tortured “O.” In that long moment all he could hear was the depthless pulse of the world. His grandfather wasn’t a mean man. He never raised his voice to Connor, and he certainly never raised his hand. The old man supplied his grandson with unsettling lessons […]

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Hunger

It was only a few weeks after my mother’s funeral when my father told me not to come home again. If not for the coldness of his voice, I might have assumed he was passive-aggressively trying to shame me for having stayed for so short a time, having returned to my son and my husband. […]

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Missing Dolls Around the World

They found the first coffin in North America, in Vancouver, BC, at a graveyard. The slender mahogany box was no larger than the forearm of a child of ten. The workers were digging up a slot for an upcoming burial of an important political figure that I were hired to document. This was meant to […]

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And A Piece of Coal Where Her Heart Once Beat

Nothing lasts forever. Not Christmas, with its bright lights and spangled promises of good things that never quite come to pass. Not the dreams of magic that it conjures for children everywhere. Not even Krampus, with his sack of coal and his cold heart. Even villains grow old and achy, age softening their sharp edges, […]

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Dance, Macabre

Here it is, your father says as he pulls up to the club, the car headlights making bright meat of the young people queuing outside. The eater of my youth, he says, so many good nights here, proper good, lad, you have no idea. He licks his lips and says a name that could be […]

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The Catcher in the Eye

I kept my right eye closed because I saw ghosts through it. My parents thought they were imaginary friends I would soon outgrow—they weren’t. But what did they know anyway? “One—or two?” my optometrist asked, switching lenses. “Two,” I said. He repeated the process until I recited the words on the eye exam chart a […]

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