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Fantasy

Kitsune no Yomeiri

I found the painting in the basement in a Japanese tansu. Noriko had moved in a lot of antique furniture when we got married, primarily from the late Edo period, and I had lost track of most of it. The painting itself was buried underneath a stack of clothing and wrapped in old brown paper. […]

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31-E

I make sure I’m the last to board. I want as many people as possible seated. My own seat is in the last row — this is the rule — and I move down the center aisle slowly. I always have a reason to board last and to walk with deliberation, and for this flight […]

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Home Isn’t

They tell him he’ll be happy when he gets there. It was wrong, what was done to you, they say. We’re making it right. You’re going home. The kind ones, who call him Mark, are pleased. They have a party, with foods from his planet. He chews the edge of a gray leaf so bitter […]

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To the Monsters, With Love

I miss you. I miss the feel of your scales, the coarseness of your fur, the tease of your claws, the scrape of your fangs against my skin. At night, I dream we’re still together: in your castle, in your coffin, in your dark lake waters. Just us, without the world to judge. I dream […]

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Anywhere and Nowhere

Nemi sat on her hut’s woven straw floor, peeling purple skins from shea nuts then dropping them into a bowl. Her bony, gnarled fingers, drenched in purple like withered lavender flowers, struggled with the pearl-sized fruits. Each naked shea clanked into the bowl, a sound like a raindrop on a roof’s straw. Glass mourning beads, […]

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One Last Night at the Carnival Before the Stars Go Out

Lady Earth went to the Galactic Carnival in a gown of watery blue and earthy green, with a shawl of swirling gray clouds. The back of her gown was black, but decorated with the lights of thousands of cities. Her pet, Moon, trailed behind her. “Guess your mass, Madam?” Mars asked, teasing. She twirled for […]

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Straying from the Path

It was a wolf, rather than an ailing grandmother, that tempted Red into the woods. All day his cries echoed, small, plaintive sounding things that filled the forest. By the time she found him, night had fallen and the blood on the snow looked black. By moonlight, she pried his paw from the rusted jaws […]

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A Song, Against the Metronome

Nafti bent double outside the door to his hut, coughing to catch his breath as Ilanaya labored inside. When word had reached him at the textile factory that his child’s time had come, he had left the midwife’s boy awkwardly stuttering among the scouring kiers and raced through the surviving underbrush. The parched rainforest had […]

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Pranked by a Pixie

“I’d like my own reality show,” she said, and her gossamer wings fluttered, catching the light like fish scales in still water. It was the faerie equivalent of batting eyelashes. Grissom sighed and shoved a pile of papers from the center of his desk to the corner. “I’d like to not have cancer,” he said. […]

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Love in the Time of Cthulhu

“One final question, Cassandra. Why do you deserve to be sacrificed to the great Yog-Sothoth?” The candle on the table flickered as she studied the hooded man’s dark eyes and considered her answer. She hated when the elder gods sent a proxy. How hard was it to show up for themselves? It made her feel […]

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