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FICTION

Every Bird a Rival by Jacqui Reiko Teruya

September 20, 2019

  The heron stands on wet sand and picks at a still-live crab. It drags it through the surf, shakes it under water. It tosses the shell into the air and catches it in the middle of its waxy jaws.…

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Assassin, Alchemist by Robert Ren

September 13, 2019

  For weeks now, the police have been looking for a man. Thin build, five-foot-six, black hair. Sketches make him look like a scrawny, scruffy, Asian Robert Downey Jr., though even in black and white, graphite on smooth grain paper,…

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Pig Son by Sequoia Nagamatsu

August 30, 2019

  Since my ex-wife and I buried our son, I have committed myself wholeheartedly to my lab, growing hearts and other organs inside of pigs that could have saved Peter. It’s his birthday today, which means Laura texts me more…

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I Married This by Meg Pokrass

August 23, 2019

  My husband, Gordon, looked as though he’d found religion—as though he’d never tasted real food before this beef stew meal at Angie and Ron’s. He appeared to be sucking his teeth after every bite, taking his time, thinking about…

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What Your Mother Thinks While Making the Bed by Megan Pillow Davis

August 16, 2019

  The bed pulling away from the wall makes a sound like (the front door opening downstairs) the unfolding of a hinge, that sharp metal groan as the legs drag across the wood. It’s the only way to get to…

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The Wishing Pot by Kathryn Paulsen

August 9, 2019

  For a year she saved her pennies in a red earthen pot lined with plastic wrap, which had formerly housed a chrysanthemum plant. The pot, clean, but still displaying some hardened dirt around the edges, occupied the center of…

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Five A.M. Ravens by Natalie Teal McAllister

July 26, 2019

  Once you could sleep. At five a.m. the ravens are a collective of voices, neighbors in the apartment next door. You wake to their arguments or their lovemaking or their overwrought drunken discussions but there is no wall to…

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Help Us See Your Face by Susan Kleinman

July 12, 2019

  Chesed shel emet they call it—the truest loving-kindness, preparing a body for burial. Truest, because it is done at inconvenient times, in harshly lit rooms. Truest, because touching dead people isn’t fun. Truest, because the kindness can never be…

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The Warden’s Prowess by Ethan Chatagnier

June 28, 2019

  The warden’s prowess with pastry had improved much over the years. It was all we heard the old inmates talk about. They talked about it the way old men on the outside talked about wars everyone else had forgotten.…

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The Skins by Tyler Barton

June 14, 2019

  The producer wanted wet hands. Sweaty and tense to where the sound really snapped. So my team detained the clappers in an overwarm anteroom beside the recording booth. Made them wait. Clammy, anxious, beating on the soundproof door: We’re…

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