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Endless Parade

AGE 7 Marko raises his first banner, a red shawl, into the teasing wind and marches behind a weathered wooden float. Brass trombones and trumpets howl across a hot, dusty world. He chants as loud as his fellow celebrants: “Never slothful! Never shelter! Sunder monoliths to sloth! “Ever onward; chase sun! Mother Ceremonium!” Marko shouts […]


Grandmother’s Satchel, Full of Tongues

Only the desperate follow the trail of rumor to my grotto beneath the marketplace, hidden behind a curtain of thorny vines. Glossa is a witch, they say. An enchantress. But, eventually, they come. Purple shadows ring Siopi’s eyes when she seeks out my den. The purple might be weariness, save for the sickly yellow mottling […]


Mr. Buttons

“Taylor, did you get your toys packed?” Mom was coming up the stairs. Taylor carefully fitted the last pack of Legos into the moving box. Next to him sat another box labeled “DONATE.” He avoided looking inside that one. Mom reached into it and pulled out a dirty stuffed dog with no tail.  “You decided […]


The Planting Prayer

The Mothers will walk with you to the edge of Morana Street, where the pavement ends and the woods begin, but no further. Thank them for taking care of you these past few months, and for taking care of your sister. They will want to pray over you. Let them, even if you do not […]


The Snow-White Heart

“Cut out her heart and bring it to me,” the queen said, and so the huntsman did. He brought no deer’s heart in its place, for the huntsman was loyal to his queen. He brought her the heart, and she ate it, and the blood stained her lips like dye. Her wrinkled skin grew pale […]


You Called Me

Doused in sugary sunlight, Janie chugs milk straight from the carton. She wipes her sleeve across her pouty fourteen-year-old mouth. “I’m off.” “To school?” Carol asks, ever hopeful. Janie’s laughter rings like wind chimes during a storm. “I’m needed elsewhere. Kansas, I think. Dunno where exactly—mornings mess with my intuition.” “What’s in Kansas?” Carol turns […]


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Circle, Circle, Circle, Slash

The night before Eli’s birthday, his mother made him watch as she jabbed a mop in a bucket and nodded toward the kitchen floor. She told him not to move. “Poison,” she said. “Poison, poison, boy-son.” The only light was the window’s moonlight and a bare bulb swinging in the pantry. “But I… I just… […]


I'm the Girl Who's Going to Survive Your Horror Movie

The Girl Who’s Going to Survive Your Horror Movie

Hi. You there with the big teeth and the appetite for human flesh. I’m the girl who’s going to survive your horror movie. Yeah, me here in the driver’s seat of the van. I know there are a bunch of rules and tropes and things for how this is supposed to go down. But before […]


Dos and Don'ts

Dos and Don’ts

Do watch eight-year-old Esme as she comes across a small house made of sticks in her backyard. It’s nested in a pile of damp leaves beneath the shady bur oak. The house is held together by strips of bark and knotted strands of animal hair. See the fly crawling in the shadow of the house’s […]


The Headless Child

To Comfort the Headless Child

The Headless Child built a gas chamber out of Legos and now cannot sleep. Only the dead truly sleep his mother says, and this doesn’t help. A black wind batters the window, an owl cries in the storm. It is the Headless Child’s past that upsets him. He recalls The Episode With The Plastic Bag […]


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