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Fantasy

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Excerpt from the Diagnostic and Necromantic Manual, 5th edition Regarding the Departed

4.200 – Reuniting with Departed Lovers, Pets, and/or Network-enabled Electronic Devices, Alternate Methods for In some rare cases, the methods laid out by section 4.100 (Classic Necromantic Rituals) will fail to return loved ones—or their devices—to life.  In such instances, the practitioner or her client may feel the onset of despair.  As though caught in […]

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The First Stop Is Always the Last

John Wiswell   MONDAY, APRIL 10 The first stop on Selma’s route was equidistant between the mall and the cemetery. Zoning was weird out here. People of shapes she’d never seen streamed down the sidewalk, all in black suits or black dresses. One broke from the crowd and boarded Selma’s bus. The woman climbed up […]

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Baker

Rafael closed the bakery at precisely 4 pm and turned the key in the lock. In his arms, he cradled the last of the bread remaining: two baguettes and one round sourdough–all the ordinary kind. He walked up the street and around the corner to the homeless shelter, scouting, as he always did, half in […]

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Claire Weinraub’s Top Five Sea Monster Stories (For Allie)

“Upon the Waves,” by Bethany Kano. This story was included in an anthology you bought on our fifth date, when we hit up Chicago’s FantastiCon. You laid our day’s haul (enough books to fill a suitcase or four) on the hotel bed and immediately began reading. “Holy. Crap,” you said after a while. “You need […]

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Monsters

At night, the monsters come. Niko lies awake and watches them circle, long spider legs black-on-black, fangs somehow gleaming without a hint of light. He pulls Daria closer, buries his face in her wispy blonde hair and breathes in, breathes out. They keep their distance while he holds her, but when he closes his eyes, […]

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That Dark, Sweet Magic

Rolling north along I-5, we’re an unlikely set of mourners: a tax accountant for Trinity Bank, a sentient apple tree, and a shoe golem. The box of my wife’s ashes is riding shotgun. I try and fail to avoid glancing at the passenger seat, expecting Aine, but only ever see the small, mahogany box I […]

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Errata to The Fugue of the Undreamable Abyss

Erratum No. 1: Where the composer is cited as anonymous, it should read Petra Skaro. I omitted my name because I feared alarming my family and friends. My sister, worried about my fixation with completing the fugue, took me away from the city apartment I had shared with Abed. She believed the mountain air would […]

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Owning the Dragon

The fires are small and out of season. Three in one week give the firefighters pause, make them shift in their heavy canvas suits and scratch their heads. No dry lightning, no kids with fireworks, and no damage except for the fences and some singed field grass. And the missing cows. I can see the […]

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The Machine of the Devil

Jacob is searching for the word he lost: for the sound of it, the feel of syllables and consonants and vowels in his mouth, for the noise and tremble it made in his throat and inner ear as he spoke it long ago. The sparrow is watching him. It’s perched on the barbed wire fence, […]

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Waiting for the Flood OR The Bathers

The two women are sitting in their beach chairs in the shallow water, low waves and foam lapping at their bare calves. They are both wearing striped, old-fashioned bathing suits, complete with goggles and swimming caps; the tall, thin one is wearing black and white stripes, the other one is striped red. They look to […]

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