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Fantasy

Illustration of man and woman kissing by Dario Bijelac

The Hole Where Andy Used to Be

The hole where Andy used to be came downstairs and sat at the kitchen table. I served him a plate of eggs before I remembered the hole never ate. As I took it back to place in the fridge, I felt like a fool. Not much later, I found the hole where Andy used to […]

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Mother’s Rules for a Burned Girl

When the dragon drops from the sky and torches the tiny fishing town, Rona does not approach. Instead, she grits her teeth and watches. She digs her fingernails into her palms until they bleed, tamping down her urge to run forward. “Remember the rules,” Rona whispers, watching the smoke. Rona doesn’t move, not even when […]

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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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A dark woods for the December cover of Flash Fiction Online

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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Art by Dario Bijelac

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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Art by Dario Bijelac

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 by Travis Burnham

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 by Frances Pauli as illustrated by Dario Bijelac

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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