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The Pandora

Content warning: “The Pandora” deals with child endangerment and mental abuse. It was a year to the day of our arrival that Mary — Cordelia as we’d come to call her — left us. Left us with a fat purse of pound notes, a letter of recommendation, and not a stitch more than the clothes […]


Desert Locks

Through the fine mesh of my mask, I studied the woman strolling through the marketplace and wondered if she knew where I could find one of my people.  Her bald head reminded me of a brown hen’s egg.  Her face resembled those of the gleaners all around us, eyes lost in an expanse of forehead […]


A Wild Patience

We first noticed something was off one April afternoon when Jessica and I came home from school and Mom had lopped her hair off. Though we probably should’ve known something was going on a week or two before that when Cecilia Ivers’ mom started baking cakes full of Tabasco sauce and pickles (bizarre but good). […]


Thin Red Jellies

When Jess died, Amy gave over her body without a second thought.

They were lucky, the doctor said. He showed Amy how close the steering wheel had come to denting Jess’s cranium, shattering the bridge of her nose, pushing bone fragments into her fragile frontal lobe, bruising the precious neural tissue that let Jess talk and think and be saved.

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Le Jardin Animé (1893)

Rage, if it could be called that, crackled in the interstices between Azimuth’s aluminum alloy and her false skin.

Below the balcony where she stood, her siblings moved in time with Mother’s orders as if they had no more soul than tools she’d used to build them. The pull of Mother’s commands pulsed in Azimuth, too, as a heart would have, but her mind was no longer subservient to Mother’s every whim.

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I remember when Jessie Martin came down the mountain. She was two years younger than me, only twelve. But she’d been called by the touchstone. Her whole life was set out for her now, one long straight line. And mine was still spinning around in tight, little circles. Mama handed me the plates to pass […]

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