From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Fiction

Notes on the Untimely Death of Ronia Drake

1. The last sound she heard was water. It bubbled and flowed from the masses of decaying snow piles, slicked the path and fanned into the spongy turf and sleeping grass. Bits of puddle splashed up on her white socks and white and red legs—a spangle of gray salt drips curving up to the knee. […]

Fiction

Painting Walls in the Town of N—

My boyfriend felt an immediate kinship with the town of N—, even with our having arrived three days later than intended due to the winding, tree-wrapped roads that had been freshly redrawn with a shiny coat of ice. I think this affinity may have had something to do with the very namelessness of the place. […]

Fiction

Time to Say Goodnight

“Then Duck left Mr. Tomkin’s farm and went to swim in Glacier Lake, just like he’d always wanted.” Mommy looked up from the last page, but Clara wasn’t sleeping. “And then what did Duck do?” Clara asked. “That’s all there is.” “Duck died?” Mommy had explained about dying on the way home from visiting Grandpa. […]

Fiction

As Soon as Summer

“Take me falling down,” she said and I reached, two hands, two old hands, older than yesterday the day before. We tumbled downward, onward, hill of green and grass, blades so sharp, the wind. The sun burns down. Flowers. Only the jasmine comes forth in the dark. * * * “Take me falling down,” she […]

Fiction

The Promise

The story is an old one. Old as dirt, shit, blood, sleep, fire. Old before anyone set voice to it, set pen to it, aimed wanderers’ tongues and toes toward its reconnaissance. It digs deep, sinks its roots deep, drinks deep. It goes back and back and back. You say you know it already. True, […]

Fiction

The Comb

People always say stories are true stories, and I suppose they believe it, often enough; this one, though, is true—true as true can be, as my mother used to say. Cross my heart and hope to die, a child says. They do, in the end, all hope to die. Nobody wants to be the moon’s […]

Fiction

Offerings

Emma hugged her clipboard and breathed a mouthful of rush-hour exhaust wafting off the rumble of I-35. She eyed the stairs through the hazy morning sun. Three flights of steel-bound concrete steps. Insipid cornflower blue hand-rail. She’d seen a lot of places like this in her forty-eight years. Why anyone would want to spend eternity […]

Fiction

Firing the Dead

The pots tick softly as they cool. I can hear them under the rise and fall of the priest’s blessings and invocations. The pots are arranged by size at the front of the church, grey dabs on the bright white of the altar cloth, with a smoked-glass urn standing at the back of the altar […]

Fiction

Possession

Three days before Eliana Stein found the girl made from bronze, the stocky Botanist noted the passing of her twelfth year living in the Aremika Shaft, though she did not celebrate it. That was the kind of woman she was: pragmatic because she lived alone, modest because her vanity did not extend to her celebrating […]

Fiction

Shedding Her Own Skin

“You can never trust a nahual,” her mother said, “because you cannot be certain if you are speaking to the animal or the man.” When the chickens disappeared her mother placed her scissors under the bed to ward off the nahual. Her four brothers were more practical, and after consulting with their uncle, their father […]