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Fantasy

What Merfolk Must Know

I SAW MY FIRST DEATHSHIP when I was only ten migrations old. Mamma and I had swum up to the ocean’s surface to play with a pod of dolphins. We were leaping and spinning and dancing in the waves when she caught sight of white sails on the horizon. The dolphins abandoned us, racing off […]

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The Cormorant in the Glass-Bottomed Cage

The river nudged my log raft against its mooring post with a steady thud on the night I first saw Old Qiu’s woman. Sitting on her knees at the end of his boat, she offered his cormorants a few of the small fish they’d caught that day. Her young, round face echoed the full moon, […]

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The Kiss

HARLAN LEANS OVER TO PLANT A KISS ON MY CHEEK. His fingers wriggle beneath mine so that our palms rest together, our fingers interlocking. It would be so easy to kiss him. Too easy. I lean back in my seat and pretend to be focused on the movie, letting the bright light of the fictional […]

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Small Wishes

I MISSED THE FIRST APPEARANCE of the wish-dragons, so I had to hear about them second-hand from my friend Boomer. He’d been feeling pretty mellow and not fit to drive, so he’d wandered down to the docks and started singing. The moon hung low and full. Boomer said the sky filled up with streaks of […]

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The Last Man on Earth — A Mini Novel

CHAPTER ONE: The Last Man Watches Blazing Saddles It’s his favorite scene. The cowboys rise and fart, rise and fart, and he thinks of his wife farting in the night. He never laughed when she did. Most of the time he was asleep when she started and half asleep when she finished. He realizes now […]

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Death Babies

Wheee. The death baby goes, wheee. It also gurgles something awful. We have a problem with them in the town, not the town proper but right outside. The death babies have gotten brave in recent years, crawling right up to the gardens and even to the homes. Nobody knows where they come from, only that […]

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The Door

The smell of wet ash slicked her throat. Jo felt the new skin stretching on her thighs and stomach as she stumbled past pools of plastic that might have been patio furniture. Blackened beams poked out of the rubble and the dead lawn crunched under her slippers. Nothing had survived that heat. Only Jo herself, […]

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My Superpower

I can pretty much find anything. It’s my superpower. It was always below the surface, in the backwaters of my brain, just waiting. I’m dead certain it was my kids and husband that finally forced it into the open. “Hon, have you seen my garpledeybip?” Like I knew what that was. “How should I know? […]

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Don Ysidro

This story is used as an exemplar for Bruce’s column, “Write Rites: The Ritual Story”. You may want to see all of Bruce’s writing columns; you can find them listed here. On that last morning, anyone who came to visit me could see that I was dying. I knew it myself. As if I had […]

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Caltrops

We hit the spikes on Interstate 40 East in Texas, soon after the second-largest freestanding cross in the Western hemisphere dropped over the horizon and disappeared from our rearview mirror, along with the giant thing crucified on it. (All the faded tourist-trap signs claim that cross is the largest, but I look into these things, […]

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