From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Fiction

Fiction

Flight

Tonight, Jekwu and Izu are perched on Chapel’s fence. They love this fence. It is the only fence in Selemku that is still coated with fresh algae-spirogyra lichen, warm under their feet, like a rug. Here, the glint of the full moon on Chapel’s stained-glass windows crisscrosses their grey feathers, the same way rainbow beams stretch out across the sky in the mornings. The air from this height is cold and dry. It wriggles its way under their skin, sending spasms down their spine. From time to time, the halogen-bulb atop the belfry comes on and then goes off and then on again. A never-ending cycle.

Flash Fiction

Of Course You Screamed

Sunsets are never beautiful here. Instead, it’s as though the sky burns red and hot, the lengthening shadows falling like ash, smudging and darkening everything they touch. This isn’t the comforting darkness of your cottage, where your grandmother’s well-worn furniture provided soft edges. (What did they do to your grandmother? Did they hang her like the others?)

Fiction

Kisser

Bragg sleeps alone. Thirty-four. This morning, he wakes up with one less tooth in his mouth, a central incisor. What his dentist, later and while looking at a dental chart, calls the patient’s Number Nine. Bragg’s Number Nine, root to crown, a crucial corn-on-the-cob tooth, is not in his mouth. It’s on the pillow beside him. Bragg rubs sleep from his eyes. That first glimpse of the tooth sends his tongue darting to the front of his mouth. An absence. A canyon.

Flash Fiction

Blackman’s Flight in 4 Parts

Part 1. / Blackman knew lack / Of gravity before gravity / had a name / Black man flew before he was told to / Till the ground / Till the ground / Till the ground / Till he forget to look at the sky / Till Blackman forget he knew how to fly

Flash Fiction

The Billionaire Shapeshifters’ Ex-Wives Club

“You’d have thought it’d be the musk, or the way he could rend me limb from limb at any moment,” said Carla thoughtfully, “but honestly it was the hairballs. You haven’t known gross until you step in a tiger hairball.” They all contemplated that for too long. Steph took a deep drink of her mimosa.

Fiction

10 Steps to a Whole New You

(1) Be unaware that the wolf was presenting itself to you in sheep’s clothing. It began, as most things do, simply enough. In a simple neighbourhood, on the edge of a town. Too urban to be rural, too rural to be urban. Women grew old. Some women aged with their children, grandchildren, family around them. Some grew old alone, isolated, bitter. Others might grow old and die sick, in pain. Then there was you.

Flash Fiction

Incense

The storyteller sits on a plastic stool by the side of the street. Rickshaws trundle past; cars honk their horns. Cart vendors crying their wares (“Beef noodle soup! Dragon’s beard candy! Scallion pancakes!”) swear at him for getting underfoot on the sidewalk. Children, released from school gates in a delirious swarm, run shouting through the streets.

Fiction

Things to Bring, Things to Burn, Things Best Left Behind

Oz is holding a knife to his wrist when they knock on the door. For a moment he hesitates, weighing his options. His eyes dart between the door and the knife—eeny, meeny, meiny, mo—and land on the door. “Might as well,” he mutters, and gets to his feet. The dull sound of the knife as he sets it aside on the kitchen table seems to fill the room. It’s a terrible thing, he muses, how loud a house is when there’s no one else in it.

Flash Fiction

Tiny House Living

After years of roommates and sublets and shared bathrooms, other people’s beard trimmings in the sink and other people’s leftovers leaking a brown film into the refrigerator, Jude moved into a walnut shell. She went in feet first, arms locked overhead in a butterfly stroke, letting all the air out of her chest in one long exhale like a spelunker. Inside, it was snug. Cozy.

Fiction

Umami

“I have a favour to ask,” said the fushi to the chef, “and in exchange, I will grant you a wish.” “What sort of favour?” Yun San asked. She wiped sweating palms down her brown hanfu and tried to show a brave face. Thick mist had whisked her away from the back of her restaurant into the wilderness. Even were she thirty years younger and somehow able to outrun her captor, she had no idea where she was.