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Fantasy

The Eye Eaters

When we find the old fruit seller sprawled on his back, face a livid gray, I’m all for following the proper rituals. But Ituani wants to eat his eyes. “That’s disgusting,” I say. Ituani has been my best friend since forever; her grandmother half-raised me while working for my father. But sometimes she says things […]

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Bury-Me-Not

We buried Mother in a tasteful rosewood cube. I couldn’t stop thinking that she looked like a paperweight. When I got home, I made an appointment for some movers to take Mother’s hospital bed out of her room. Really, it was my master bedroom, but since Mother had been living there for the past three […]

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Flash Fiction Online July 2019

Phoenix, Fallen

The Phoenix Corporation complex perches atop a volcanic ridge overlooking the Pacific. Its vari-copper cladding catches the rising sun, turning the buildings to flame. I used to love watching the building burn like its namesake, but today can think of nothing but Kokua, plummeting through the atmosphere, his wingsuit disintegrating in a ball of fire. […]

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Roommates

“Hannah, we’re going to be late,” her mother is saying, but not in the real pissed-off way she would have said it before the accident. Instead she’s tentative, careful, like she’s constantly disarming a bomb and isn’t sure what wires are safe to cut. “Sure,” Hannah says, and guides her dead arm through the sleeve […]

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How to Confront the Sphinx Haunting Your Garden

If you are consulting this guide, you live alone in the house at the end of the lane, and a sphinx has been haunting your overgrown garden. So far you’ve dealt with the sphinx by countering her riddles with Zen koans, or covering your face when you pass so she leaves you alone. You’ve told […]

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Fairy-Tale Ending

When the moon was full, Immer lowered her hair to the Earth, a silver net with snarls bound tight as a captain’s knot. Kneeling down, she plucked the strands of her hair like a harpist. In the tension before dawn, Immer raised her hair, scooping birds and bugs away from the Earth. Immersed in her […]

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Bedtime Snacks for Baby

Once more before bedtime, my sweet. Snuggle up here in the rocking [item used for sitting], and I’ll tell you how it happened. Now, where to begin? When we moved to this cabin in the woods? When Sadie and I decided to have a baby? Those are beginnings, too. No? All right, we’ll start the […]

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Things Not to Forget

Like the way her voice slides into my ear, my guardian angel with the slight, teen-sized body, with the freckles and dirty-blonde bangs and tender little hands, the pearl-white nails so even. That piping voice, waking me: “Carrie, you’ve got to get up.” The quiet, mature concern of that child-high voice slices smoothly into my […]

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From Her Mouth, the Ashes

Lena spoke not in birdsong but in birds. When we first met, her greeting was accompanied by fidgeting wings, the shy hop of a wren. But behind the shyness, there was a strength of will, a quiet fierceness that burned in her eyes and drew me in, past the feathers, past the songs. Our first […]

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knick knack, knick knack

When you were a child, white skulls used to follow you through the woods. You tried to catch a glimpse of them, but when you turned your head, their skeleton bodies would disappear, fading into the canopy. Only their bone-voices remained, clacking through the trees, knick knack, knick knack. And then how you ran! Not […]

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