Fiction

Rising Star

Meerschon Grant Selection Committee— I understand that only one of these proposals you’re reading will be funded. One out of what I’m sure will be hundreds, if not thousands. And that’s just from the research community. Once scholars from other fields learn that this opportunity isn’t limited to the sciences—that they can read the Dead […]

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Auspicium Melioris Aevi

Singapore stank. The last Asian post of the British empire stank. It was a country at war, a country under occupation, and it stank. It stank from the musk of the Chinese men milling on the road, it stank from the sewage cooking in the open drains, and it stank from the diesel burning in […]

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To Budapest, with Love

I am seventeen. I am in Budapest, and it is the Communist era. At the airport, there were Russian soldiers with Kalashnikovs patrolling the runways. Only one airline flew to Budapest, the national airline Malév. There were few passengers. I stopped at passport control and showed my American passport. It contains a photograph of me […]

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The Thule Stowaway

I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim Thule— From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime Out of SPACE—out of TIME. Edgar Allan Poe, “Dream–Land” The Poet’s Tale The dreamer, born bleak, invents an existence elsewhere. He tosses in his sleep, his hair tangled. His hands grasp at nothing, and his […]

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The Unknown God

Aworo, Lord of Horses, god of the Western plains, walked into the marketplace in Kalub in the third hour of the morning. It was early summer, and at this hour the sun was warm and comfortable. Pens of livestock and slaves, rickety stalls, rows of fish staring blankly, baskets of fruit, orange and red and […]

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Bodies Stacked Like Firewood

Three words, allegedly, written in Sharpie on his bathroom mirror: CREMATION, NO FUNERAL. “Shortest suicide note ever,” said a girl standing beside me at the river’s edge, staring into the flames. “That’s so Cyd.” The shortest suicide note is none at all, I thought, and that was so Cyd, so much so that it made […]

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Monster Girls Don’t Cry

(Content Note for descriptions of sexual violence.) Your sister has too–large hands and too many teeth. Not in a sense that her gums are crowded or her fingers are long and she might have a career as a concert pianist. No, her hands are massive, thick–boned, tipped in wickedly sharp claws that shine like pearls. […]

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Goddess, Worm

Three lies: One: Silence is permission; quiescence, acceptance; yes is yes means always yes. Two: This is the way of gods and beasts, a tradition of power. The men take, the woman is taken, her boundaries malleable, her desire negligible. This is cultural, universal, axiomatic fact. Mythology is unkind, deification teeth–marked by sacrifice. If there […]

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