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Literary

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Rachel Unerased

“I’m thinking of painting the front porch,” my grandmother said. “Maybe a bright spring yellow.” I trapped the phone against one ear with my shoulder. “Gram? Did you hear what I said?” “Hmm?” “I said, ‘I have something to tell you,’ and you said, ‘Me too’ and I said, ‘I’m gay,’ and you said, ‘I’m […]

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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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A dark woods for the December cover of Flash Fiction Online

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 by Shara Concepcion in Flash Fiction Online

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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Touching Strangers

When the ship’s captain and the fat man who brought us all here stood together on the dock, talking low, I should have taken it as a sign. Their hands jabbed the night air in anger, and a murmur passed through me that my husband and I had made a mistake. The shuffling crowd propelled […]

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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

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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Waterfall

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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