Short Fiction

Short Fiction from issues of Apex Magazine

Cape to Cairo

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

Of all the things Alice is good at, she is the best at leaving. Jobs, lovers, apartments, things when they get difficult. There is not enough time in life, she thinks, for living and for trying to fix things that can’t be fixed. Now she is in Arusha, in Tanzania, in the shadows of Kilimanjaro and Meru, and she is conflicted. Arusha is the middle of her travels, and going past the middle means getting closer to the end. The young batik salesmen swarm around her, feinting and charging with their batiks like matadors. “Hello sister,” they say. “Good price.” They’ve followed her across Old Moshi Road, dodging the wild traffic that screeches around the rotary. Here come the...

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Not Smart, Not Clever

by on May 6, 2014 in Short Fiction | 1 comment

The lecture theatre I’m trying to enter holds three hundred, but the security doors only admit two people at a time. Smart. I wait with the gang — Isha, Barb and Zach — in the underground atrium. “Lin,” Isha asks me, “you totally don’t have to tell me, but are you on brain–rec?” “No. I mean, not yet, anyway.” “I am,” Isha admits. The gang gasp. Isha is normally squeaky–clean. “I didn’t cheat! I was on face–rec,” Isha explains, “but then I was writing my Decadence essay and the face–rec didn’t know who I was, because I was wearing a hat. So the department put me on brain–rec, too.” She frowns. “It’s not fair. It was my thinking hat.” The gang coos. Isha is adorable. The...

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Falling Leaves

by on May 6, 2014 in Short Fiction | 1 comment

Charlotte and Nessa met in Year Eight of Narrabri High School. Charlotte’s family were licensed refugees from the burning lands and the flooded coast, not quite landed, but a step apart from refugees that didn’t have dog tags. Charlotte sat on the roof, dangled her legs off the edge and gazed at the wounded horizon, as she did every lunchtime. Nessa, recognizing the posture of a fellow animal in pain, climbed up to see what she could do. The mica in the concrete glittered and scoured her palms as she braced herself between an imitation tree and the wall and shimmied her way up. She had to be careful not to break the tree, a cheap recycled–plastic genericus — who’d waste...

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Paperclips and Memories and Things That Won’t Be Missed

by on May 6, 2014 in Short Fiction | 3 comments

The ghost in my attic is Margaret, but she lets me call her Margie. She was seventy–six years old when she died, and now that she’s a ghost she sits in her rocking chair day and night, holding a tiny baby in her arms. The baby rarely moves and almost never cries. His name is Gavin, and he is thin and wrinkly and covered in fine brown hair. Funny looking, as preemies often are, but sweet nonetheless. Margie keeps him wrapped in a blanket of cobwebs, which I think is disgusting. I’ve always hated spiders. Did you know that ghosts are like pack rats? We collect all manner of things: Barbie hairs and memories and peanut shells and dreams of death. Invoices and autumn leaves...

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Repairing the World

by on Apr 1, 2014 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

By the time Lila and Bridger arrived, the sitting room floor was already part savannah. Yellow grass grew on dirt where hardwood had once been. The border between grass and floor hissed and threw up sparks as the savannah crept towards the davenport on one side, the longcase clock on another and towards Lila on a third. On the fourth, the grass seemed to stretch through a wide hole in the far wall to a pale green horizon. The intrusion, however, couldn’t have breached the far wall yet. The house hadn’t collapsed. Lila ticked a mechanical dragonfly with the time, location, and the nature of this intrusion, wound it up then threw it into the air. Its wings blurred as it...

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The Cultist’s Son

by on Apr 1, 2014 in Short Fiction | 5 comments

“I used to think the sky would peel open,” the girl with the green hair confesses, curling black–nailed fingers around a can of Pabst. “I always had bloody knees, because I never looked down when I walked — I’d clasp my eyes to the sky, bracing myself for the sight of a gigantic hand pulling aside the clouds. If I saw Him coming, maybe I could pray hard enough in time for God to forgive me. Otherwise… Mom told me I’d burn like the whore I was. In sixth grade.” Her smile is shy, a crooked little secret that Derleth likes. He finds his own head bobbing in agreement, his body resonating to the tune of her broken childhood. The girl’s smile melts into a relieved grin; she’s...

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