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Fantasy

The Secret Life of Sea Monsters

They live in crowded old apartment buildings, leaning up against the walls at night to listen to the sounds the pipes make, the transit of air and water from here to there. Sometimes they will sing strange songs, harmonizing with the pipes and the sirens and the city sounds from beyond their apartment walls. They […]

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Black Friday

My Uncle Joe spent five years in one of those “re-acculturation” centers. He was one of the lucky ones — locked up, not put down — because my grandfather had so much money and my dad says Joe was always his favorite.  I was only nine then, and I still don’t know how many people […]

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The Rules of the Game

Li brushed the snow off of the Buddha statues that covered the steps outside of Yue’s house. The clouds hung heavy in the sky, and Li was sure that it would snow again soon. But Yue would make the most hideous gurgles and whistling breaths if she did not brush the snow off of the […]

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The Liar

The boy, who would rather be called a man, was dying. Fire ate at the old forest, but the Liar couldn’t feel the heat. He felt only the boy’s fear, his pain, his regret. The way his bloody fingers slipped over the buttons as he tried to radio for help. The machine was dead, but […]

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Columbidae

They were beating on the door. Huey could hear it rattling, see it shaking in the frame. They were going to take him away and lock him up like he was crazy. And this was only fair, Huey reflected, edging a little further out onto the ledge. The cars below looked like droplets of blood […]

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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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