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Horror

Devil Got You on Speed Dial

The devil called on Tuesday. I’m hungry, it said. Feed me. You hung up–but a thing like that doesn’t stop a devil. It called back. And kept calling. Night after night after night until you couldn’t remember what day it was or whether you were dreaming or just sleepwalking through life. The only thing that seemed real was the gnawing in […]

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Muse

White as china, she is, a new polished plate, ready to be broken. She ain’t more than ten-and-fifteen, made very tiny by the master’s heavy, black overcoat what’s thrown about her shoulders. I stand back as the door swings wide, the carriage crunching away over the gravel, her boots tipping and tapping on the step, […]

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Hoarfrost

When the first snow falls, it burns. The other women dance in the flurry without me, beneath a moon clouded by giants’ breath. Snowflakes spin into their open mouths and dust their outstretched hands. They dance that winter’s planting will be done, that their wombs will spill over with its seed. They dance that summer’s […]

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Daisy

Day one The dogs that aren’t dogs anymore whisper at the basement door. They know my name. They sing it to me, taunting and giggling. Teeth, gray licking tongues, and sun yellow eyes flash in the crack between the door and the top stair. My neighbor Doug ’s basement is musty and bare. No air […]

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The Man in the Basement

When I bring food to the man in the basement, he asks me what day it is. I don’t remember. The young cockroaches are coming out of the walls. He has killed one. The young ones are yellow, like the ends of the cigarettes I don’t bring him. And we never talk anymore. I cut […]

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Face Time

I WAS TEARING THE SKINS OFF SHALLOTS LAST NIGHT when Mother came in wearing Fifth Face. Fifth Face looks like Julie Andrews, but the thing doesn’t fit Mother’s skull. You can see wires sticking out behind. Fifth Face speaks in Zenlike one-liners that I suspect are lifted from Kierkegaard, although we don’t have any Kierkegaard […]

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The Cratch, Thy Keeper

When that Cratch am watchin’, you better do right. Suck a corncob if them striped birds go over. Cranes pass on high, you best bury you some young mouse teeth. Wear radishes round you neck. You see leaves blowin’, best get gone quick. If it a odd number day, stay away from metal. Don’t move […]

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Eating It Too

Her mother had taught her that each meal, each dish made with her own fingers was a gift. You should cook with your loved one in mind, Sophie, her mother used to say, and strive for the best. So Sophie had. Each meal was a feast, a gift of love. Harold ate each with gusto, […]

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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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