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Fiction

The 21 Bus Line

I was headed down Hennepin that morning after the production meeting for The Gay Mob when a dart of movement in a grate below the sidewalk caught my eye. Two pairs of berry-bright black eyes regarded me for just one second, and then the baby raccoons slipped out of sight. I waited a little bit […]

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Water Child

The barbing and hairdressing salons, which usually stayed open until past midnight, were closed. Most of the drinking parlours were shut, though the cracks underneath their doors still showed strips of light, suggesting that they had not run out of cold beers. Bugaty Club where the lights flickered like small flashes of lightening and music […]

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Of Claw and Bone

Your mother begins collecting the tiny skulls as soon as the flutter of your limbs causes her heart to skip. She curates each specimen, ensuring it originates from a disparate source: A mouse carcass picked from a ravine trail; a desiccated red squirrel shipped from her sister out East; a marmot, snared in a field […]

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Crooked House

I always said I got to get out of here, but that was just talk. Now I for sure mean it. Anyway, I’m almost sixteen, so I have to go. Ma and Pa say sixteen is the limit for boys staying in the house. My two older brothers took off when they hit sixteen, one […]

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Hello

Most people—if not all ran from the creature Hello, or ignored it altogether whenever it visited their village, city, country. Except one approached it with curiosity: the Child with the Blurred Face. Hello. Its tongue whipped back and forth from a large cavernous mouth. Lips puckered from protruding boils that were pearl-like in their veined […]

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Worm Blood

Gunnora kept her arms covered. Bare, they looked too much like farmland—or what farmland had come to look like. Burnt, pockmarked patches in corn, the dark smudges black as the circles under her eyes. The worms might burn themselves out for air, but the fields needed beating for all that, to keep the flames from […]

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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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