Short Fiction

Short Fiction from issues of Apex Magazine

John Dillinger and the Blind Magician

by on Jan 6, 2015 in Short Fiction | 1 comment

4900 WORDS Argyle Paendragon sat at the bar of a speakeasy that was unlike any other he knew of in Chicago. The Blind Magician was situated just down an alleyway alongside the Biograph Theater behind a door hidden by a complex camouflaging charm and guarded by a brute no one wanted to trifle with. The old wizard had been coming here nearly every night since the place opened back in ’26, but tonight he was meeting someone, and according to the message he’d received an hour ago, it was urgent. He ordered a sidecar from Jonesy behind the bar, and he was just lighting his pipe when John Dillinger, Public Enemy Number One, took the stool beside him. “Right on time,” Argyle...

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Anarchic Hand

by on Jan 6, 2015 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

3300 WORDS Dimia returns to consciousness suddenly and without pain—without physical sensation of any kind, in fact—and finds herself in a perfect void. The technicians at Bridge Proteins told her to expect quite a hangover if she ever came back to life, but they never mentioned anything about sensory impairment. She can’t even feel herself breathing. For a long time, insofar as she can judge time’s passage, she simply exists and waits. She’s never had much use for philosophy, but now she repeats cogito ergo sum like a mantra. Maybe the lack of sensation is part of the prophesied mental impairment, although her thinking is clear. At least she can’t feel the pain of her...

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Multo

by on Jan 6, 2015 in Short Fiction | 10 comments

3770 WORDS My dad liked to say, “Ang nakaraan ay hindi kailanman nawawala, nalilimutan lamang,” or rather, “The past is never gone, only forgotten.” Whether a salawikain of the Philippines or something he made up, it seemed to fit. And I’d come across no better example than when I received an unexpected friend request online. It came with a message: Adan, we need to talk. There’s something you need to know. And then, Remember the multo? The profile included a blurry photo of a forty–something Filipina woman by the name of Dakila Hayes. Hair black, straight, and shoulder length. Lips drawn up in a not–quite–there smile. The image struck me immediately. Though she had a...

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Pocosin

by on Jan 6, 2015 in Short Fiction | 11 comments

5000 WORDS Author’s Note: Pocosins are a type of raised peat wetland found almost exclusively in the Carolinas. The name derives from an Eastern Algonquian word meaning “swamp on a hill.” They are a rare and unique ecosystem, today widely threatened by development. This is the place of the carnivores, the pool ringed with sundews and the fat funnels of the pitcher plants. This is the place where the ground never dries out and the loblolly pines grow stunted, where the soil is poor and the plants turn to other means of feeding themselves. This is the place where the hairstreak butterflies flow sleekly through the air and you can hear insect feet drumming inside the bowl...

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Trees of Bone

by on Dec 31, 2014 in Blog, Short Fiction | 3 comments

8915 WORDS 1 The sound of his bedroom door being opened woke Katulo. “What is it?” “It’s Chama, he’s dying.” Eyo’s voice was an agitated whisper. “Get the clinic ready.” Eyo hurried off and Katulo dressed. He snatched his walking stick and stepped into the humid night. This had been the hottest summer Burundi had seen since 2072. In the last two weeks, Katulo had treated a record number of patients for dehydration and angazi fever. As he walked, he tried to call up a mental image of Chama. He could vaguely recall a loud boy with mud-brown skin who had been terrified of syringes. Chama’s father was the chief of...

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Henrietta’s Garden

by on Dec 2, 2014 in Short Fiction | 3 comments

2200 WORDS It started at her dad’s funeral. Her brother gave his eulogy about what a great dad he was and how he took them out for soccer on Sundays, and Henrietta wept a single tear that was not a tear but a daisy petal. At first she thought it was a mistake—she wondered if a flower caught in her hair—but she cried another and it slid down her face just slightly. People took notice. Was that woman crying petals? Henrietta smiled at them, holding back the tears. The petals unfurled, about to fall, but she wouldn’t let them. She thought this made her extremely strong, but really it made her look like an idiot—a magical idiot, maybe, but still an idiot. After the funeral,...

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