Category Archive: Fiction

“The Carnival Was Eaten, All Except the Clown” by Caroline M. Yoachim

The magician’s table was covered by a sheet of plywood, four feet square, completely wrapped in aluminum foil. Sugar magic was messy magic, and the foil made for easier cleanup. Scattered across the aluminum were misshapen chunks of candy, the seeds from which the carnival would grow. And grow it did. Overnight, as the magician …

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“The Fungi That Talk Softly” by Harry Markov

In the grand conversation of life, fungi are considered rather dull creatures. It’s not hard to imagine why, though. Far removed from the vocal faunas with their incessant self-expression, which quite frankly speaks of poor manners, fungi appear to be mutes when compared to the well-nigh infinite biological diversity. Roars are too crude, hisses improper, …

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“Eating the Pomegranate” by Megan Kurashige

Imogen says the sky reminds her of the end of the world, and Aurelie has to admit that it’s a good description, even if it’s inaccurate, since she hasn’t seen the end of the world and she’s pretty certain that Imogen hasn’t either. Imogen has her back turned to the conflagration that is eating up …

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“The Girls of the Forest” by Margaret Ronald

Her sisters are waiting for her. They don’t judge, at least not in front of Mammana, but she recognizes the look in their eyes. She had it herself, seeing cousin after cousin return, sometimes to collapse weeping on Mammana’s breast, sometimes stone-faced, sometimes refusing to meet anyone’s gaze. I would never be so stupid, she …

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“Dream Vision” by Megan Arkenberg

In this country, dawn is forever. The sky—an infinite blue cup edged in blood. Clouds—tracks left by the trampling feet of ghosts. This is their country. Restless sand, uncertain rivers that smooth the hills like simple stones. And always, the anxiety. This land is theirs, a land that knows the endlessness of dawn and spring …

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“Song of Mary” by Geoffrey W. Cole

Peatro coughs blood onto the rough ice on which he lies, and when he can breathe again, he rises onto all fours. She wishes he wouldn’t. “Stay down, mutt,” Lennock, the chief’s son, says. Peatro moves onto one knee. Lennock kicks Peatro hard in the ribs, the same side she watched him kick last time, …

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Two Poems from Nancy Hightower

sarah they prophesy over me, saying when are you getting pregnant? how long have you been trying? my womb, a chrysalis where I might morph into woman. breasts with something to do, milk to make, a king’s mouth to feed. yet there is no movement inside this belly, no nausea to wake me every morning …

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“Bones” by Helena Bell

The wheelchair man died alone in his trailer beside the Suwannee River. After four days, no one had noticed and no one had come to collect his body to bury in the little graveyard beside the highway. Because he was dead, he no longer needed sleep and so one night he stuffed his beige nylon …

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“The Beasts We Want to Be” by Sam J. Miller

Two things were wrong with the Spasskaya assessment. The first was the painting: a tiny square in a simple frame, something I barely noticed at the time, but which would go on to cause us so much suffering. The second was the woman. Wailing greeted us when we arrived, almost at midnight. Assessment teams had …

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“Ondine’s Curse” by Katherine Mankiller

She knew the signs of drowning; she’d seen it many times. Mouth below the waterline, arms pressing the body up out of the water for a breath. He didn’t cry out for help, but then again, they never did. Breathing took precedence. He didn’t kick, didn’t thrash. He didn’t have the energy to waste. She …

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