Article Category Archives: Fiction

  1. These Are The Things Our Hands Have Made

    And then there was the day when the transmission towers came to life. Before then, I had thought of power lines as held up only by those stripped and ratty-looking twigs that line every street in the city. Those utility poles are tall, yes, and sturdy, yes, and covered in creosote, yes, but they remind me of nothing more than Slim Jims fit for the gods. […]

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  2. Four Scenes From Wieczniak’s Whisk-U-Away, And One Not

    Have a seat, the two of you, and your little girl. You took a taxi here, as I requested? Oh, good. The mall owner, Mrs. Tiffin, she’s always hounding the police to tow away everyone’s cars. I tell her you’re my customers, travelers, you need a place to park overnight — but no, she claims you’re stealing spaces from the Hallmark store. […]

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  3. The Unworthy

    “Rise, oh God of Creation,” they sang, and so I did. I rose and called the sea. The waters came and washed that place clean as I swept my arms east to west, delighted at the bewildered sounds they made. I bore the tiny priests no ill will, despite the inconvenience their little ceremony had caused. Troublesome vermin are never worth one’s enmity, though one does not abide their gnawing presence when it can be helped. So I washed them away, smiling. […]

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  4. Verdure

    The sun is finally starting to come up, but I don’t feel any safer. Little rays of sun filter through the mass of vegetation that surround us in a nearly three-hundred-sixty degree radius, but it’s still only barely enough to notice, let alone shed any actual illumination. The green is all around us — wet and dense and, it seems to me, angry at the intrusion of the squad stomping our clumsy way through. […]

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  5. Million Hearts in the Valley of Death

    The stack of red is rather high, but I toss mine in anyway. A few others slide down, like unstable tomatoes piled strategically at the grocery store. I arrived sooner than one would anticipate, but I’m far from alone. A steady line of men and women slowly walk up to the pile and toss, adding to the stack. Over time I can no longer see mine. […]

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  6. The Fine Art of Fortune-Telling

    “She’s not in,” I say. “She probably forgot all about it, I told you she’s flaky like that. Come on, let’s go. We can get something to eat on the way home. Pizza would be nice.”
    Alan looks at my hand, which is gripping his elbow, and then at his finger, which is still on the doorbell. “It’s usually traditional to wait until the bell stops ringing before you decide nobody’s going to answer it.” […]

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  7. Marshmallow Walls

    I lay like all of the others, restrained and silent and calm. Cold and alone, like a single rock on a frozen shore. Content in my ignorance and blissful in my numbness. The occasional scream will penetrate these soft marshmallow walls, but more often than not it is completely silent here… until the voices come. […]

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  8. Grimm’s Home for Geriatrics

    Cinderella has been leaving her right slipper in the stairwells again. Please make sure to pick it up and return it to her when you find it; we’ve already had one staff member fall and we don’t need a repeat of last year’s run on hip replacement surgeries. We’re not sure how she keeps getting out of her ward, so please keep an eye out for her fairy godmother or any talkative mice. […]

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  9. JC The Ski Bum

    “Jesus taught me how to ski,” the kid in the bright orange ski pants said to the middle-aged lady next to me on the chairlift.
    She barked a sharp but friendly laugh. “You mean Haysus, don’t you? Didn’t know they had a Latino ski instructor up here.” She waved a hand toward the day lodge, the bright lights for night skiing casting shadows on the run below us. […]

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  10. The Sculptor’s Son

    Elijah’s hands worked the cool clay until the little girl’s eyes reflected innocence, and her lips formed a smile. The figure, half his height, mimicked a child of seven or eight. Sculpting had shaken off the dread brewing since the call an hour ago. […]

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  11. The Unforgiving Minute

    If and I were kicking back in the garage loft, what a lot of people would call a “man cave.” My wife, Dee, used to call it my tree house, ’cause you gotta climb a ladder to get to it. Maybe she still calls it that. I don’t know. […]

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  12. Smew of Skray

    Long-fingered grips and narrow, jag-joint wrists. Heg coiled around her brother. Coiled in close until he breathed the flavor of her thoughts. Unlovely. Unbelonging. Out! Out! Out! […]

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  13. Sponsored by…

    The ground rumbled under Captain Dave Stiller’s feet as two M81 pocket tanks rolled by. Large red letters on the turrets spelled out B-U-D-W-E-I-S-E-R and negated the usefulness of the camouflage paint. The tanks threw up clouds of Fort Dix sand and scattered swarms of gnats. […]

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  14. Seven Conversations in Locked Rooms

    The lawyer looked at his watch for what must’ve been the hundredth time. “It’s a good thing that they’re taking this long. Means the jury is seriously considering our argument, at least. A quick verdict would’ve likely been bad news.” […]

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  15. Letters to the Editor of Tempestas Arcana

    The heap was in the usual order—dangling above chaos as if by the tree branch of vague categorization. My apprentices (or unpaid interns now, blast the “synergy seminar” that Mr. Lexius had given) had them in piles. The snowbank of envelopes was mostly (and mercifully) white, though a few red and green ones peeked out and promised unwelcome entertainment. […]

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  16. Passenger Space

    My foot touches the platform and it hits me, a plunging sensation in my gut-I feel light and the lightness is wrong. Merciless, the impatient momentum of the crowd pulls me the wrong way. All wrong. I check my pockets: Gum. Keys. Ticket-stub. […]

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  17. Shades of the Past

    The pond was stagnant, sickly. Globs of yellow foam floated on the surface, while cattails lay flat on the ground along the water’s edge, as though expired from the effort of trying to crawl free of the horrible scum. “Betcha five bucks you won’t stick your foot in,” said Brandon Styles to his new friend Jarvis. […]

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  18. Your Lair or Mine?

    Gender: Female. Relationship status: Single. Area: Welsh mountain, but willing to travel. […]

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  19. Single-Bit Error

    Before he met Lydia, Tyler’s life, like the lives of most people, involved the steady accretion of names. Names were just shorthand for memories, and young Tyler did not yet understand that we define each name in life twice: the first time as a promise of the future, and again later, when it is a summary of the past. […]

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  20. In the Shadow of Dyrhólaey

    Einar Jónsson wasn’t the first to see the ship entombed in the rocks, but little did I know then, he was one of the few Icelanders who could actually do something about it. “If I only had enough time,” he said to me, as we stood on the black sand and stared at the tell-tale stones, “and sharp enough chisels, by God, I think I could really bring out the shape of it.” […]

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