Posts Tagged "short fiction"

Slow

by on Apr 7, 2015 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

(4800 Words) From her mouth exhales some warm magic that sweeps the marble dust away, and this is the first thing he sees, though he does not quite understand that he sees: her lips with their red stain worn away, paled in a utility light’s blaze. Below her chin a dust mask snares her throat. Another breath and she sets the chisel again, raises her mallet, and delicately, deliberately, she chips the scales from his eyes. * Sometimes there’s only a range of floorboards, slats of dust-dulled wood with starred prints from her shoes tracking diagonals across. Light reaches over, fading from left to right throughout the day, from nothing to a distorted symmetry of eight...

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Wind

by on Apr 7, 2015 in Short Fiction | 1 comment

(4300 Words) Once upon a time, there were two young girls, closer than sisters, who dreamed of greatness. When they played together (as they did every day), Gytha always pretended to be an artist, raising glorious sculptures of stone and glass, and Dagmar pretended to be a famous physician, making brilliant discoveries each day and then spending her nights in the slums, secretly healing those too poor to afford a physician’s fee. Magical ability comes from an imbalance of the elements within the human heart, however, and both Gytha and Dagmar had been blessed with balance rather than power. But Gytha read in a book about a perilous rite requiring two willing hearts that...

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Crow

by on Apr 7, 2015 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

(3200 Words) Carmen had come back from shore leave, come back from weaning her child, and she’d missed the feel of salt crusting on her lips, the dry wind sucking moisture from her eyes. Missed wood under her heels and being rocked instead of rocking. The shadow of her body against the sails was different than it was before: round like a sunfish and the memory of anchors. Her feet on the deck echoed deeper than they had done, just slightly, and she walked with her weight in front of her—not just the new milk-heaviness, but the ghost weight of belly and baby, the child held before her in its canvas sling, mouth pursed and working, and waking, at times, to see its mother...

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Silver Buttons All Down His Back

by on Apr 7, 2015 in Short Fiction | 2 comments

(4500 Words) His fingers fit through the diamond slots in the chain link fence like nothing has changed, as though he never went to college or moved away from home. Except now, instead of a high school in the distance behind the runners in their white T-shirts and matching blue-and-grey track shorts, it’s a rocket. It’s just past dawn; the sleek lines of the rocket stand against a sky silvering from deep blue to almost-white where it touches the horizon. The moon is a slim crescent, grinning. In his recurring dreams, there is a moon that looks just like that. It is the moon, the one from his dream, more than anything that takes him back. The year he started seventh...

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Beatification of the Second Fall

by on Apr 7, 2015 in Short Fiction | 1 comment

(4400 Words) For Devin I am four when the door at the top of the stairs is opened to me for the first time. Mother has invited friends over—men who smell of tobacco smoke, women who reek the scent of too many flowers stuffed into a glass jar. They clutch handbags and hats, and fill up the front parlor with a mix of cigarette smoke and fear. I am too young to understand when I walk into the blue-papered room. Their eyes are sunken, desperate, dead. I don’t realize what it means when a man traces the bottom of his lip with the tip of his tongue, or a woman whose name I do not remember clutches at her stomach. They stare at me. Mother enters carrying a Mason jar. She scans...

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