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Literary

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Excerpt from the Diagnostic and Necromantic Manual, 5th edition Regarding the Departed

4.200 – Reuniting with Departed Lovers, Pets, and/or Network-enabled Electronic Devices, Alternate Methods for In some rare cases, the methods laid out by section 4.100 (Classic Necromantic Rituals) will fail to return loved ones—or their devices—to life.  In such instances, the practitioner or her client may feel the onset of despair.  As though caught in […]

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The Girl Waits

April 14, 1994, Mubaro, Rwanda The girl waits. There are only the silver threads of a web swooping precariously over the top left corner of a splintered window frame. There are no rays of warm light seeping through mottled glass. There is no slight breeze, no swaying jacaranda branch heavy with purple blossoms her mother […]

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Steadfast

Poppy fell the moment Carlos showed her his feet. She’d never met a man—or rather, a civilian man—with feet uglier than her own. But ballet slippers weren’t any kinder to toes than combat boots were. Before she saw him, she’d planned on making a tactical retreat from the reception. It’d been a mistake to take […]

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Brujitas

Our grandmothers lie in slips that shine like cellophane. Their breasts hang loose and heavy like bindles from their collar bones. We gaze at the crosses hanging over their beds, so much like marks over graves, as they whisper softly, softly on the edge of sleep. “The fence was there at the beginning,” they tell us, […]

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Spring Thaw

Dates do not exist in the camp. Today is today; there is no yesterday, no tomorrow. If only 5168 would learn that. Spring has finally melted the months-deep snowdrifts, turning the ground to ankle-deep muck. Plants, long hidden, emerge from the soil. Flowers rush to bloom and die before Siberia’s winter returns. In Siberia, even […]

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The Peculiar Grace of Bees

  This is what it was like, in the beginning. You come home from school one day, and a wall in your house is missing. It might be the front wall, leaving your door suspended in space and the neighbors too able to see in. And seeing, comment. It might be in the kitchen, where […]

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Strays

The shoes followed me, wagging their button-heels and giving out high-pitched little whines. I hadn’t called them, I hadn’t made eye contact – I mean, I wasn’t born yesterday – but I heard them back there. Busy rehearsing the next day’s presentation to the city planning board, preparing for the agenda-jumper I knew would derail […]

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Vernal Fall

He’s only a few steps behind her on the rock bridge when it happens—creeping along, cautious, watching his footing. A yard, that’s all, maybe less, but Garrett doesn’t see the slip, doesn’t see Mara’s foot fly out and her knee buckle, doesn’t realize what’s happening until he hears her one bright cry, until he looks […]

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A Woman’s Glory

She’s at the island with a knife. Body bent over the cutting board, like a diver taking leave of the land. In one hand, the golden bale of her hair; in the other, her santoku. “Oh,” I say. “No.” A rush of warmth washes over me as I think of the softness of those strands […]

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A Box Full of Winter

I was watching a documentary about Robert Redford when Robert Redford walked in. He was still dusted over with snow from skiing. In my paint-covered jeans and beanie, I showed him around the house. He lifted things gently and asked questions. I answered carefully. ‘Over there is a music box I’ve had since I was […]

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