Fiction

The Cook

The first time I see her, it’s just a glimpse. I’m standing in the inn’s common room and the other warriors straddle chairs and call for ale. While some reach for a serving wench or boy, cheeks to pinch, a life to grasp—my stomach growls a monster’s growl. I should be slain; the growl is […]

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What Gentle Women Dare

Liverpool, Midsummer, 1763 When Satan himself came to Lolly, she didn’t recognize him. She wasn’t on her guard—hadn’t been for years. Why should she be? Her immortal soul had long since drowned in rum and rotted under gobs of treacle toffee. If any scrap was left, it was too dry and leathery to tempt evil. […]

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If We Die Unjustified

Angelcorpse, Angelcorpse, bones hollowed and so slight; Angelcorpse, Angelcorpse, you ate the marrow bright. Boiled down your wings and sawed away your teeth; plucked your feathers softly and made yourself a wreath. Why do this, darling Angelcorpse? Why mutilate you so? Is it for another’s sight or is it for your woe? Angelcorpse, Angelcorpse, you […]

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In Blue Lily’s Wake

Where Thich Tim Nghe stands, there is no time; there is no noise, save for the distant lament of the dead—voices she has once known, Mother, Sixth Aunt, Cousin Cuc, Cousin Ly, the passengers—not crying out in agony, or whispering about how afraid they were, at the very end, but simply singing, over and over, […]

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Sucks (to Be You)

Call me lamia, call me lilith, call me nightmare, slattern, slut. I don’t subscribe to labels. I’ve moved around, through many lives, and they’ve always invented new names for me. When I care to name myself, “succubus” does just fine. It started out as a joke among our little group, the girls who have been […]

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Blessings

“Grace,” the drunk fairy said, “is by far the best of the blessings.” She was drunk because her hostess, who herself had been blessed with hospitality—and a reasonably wealthy husband—had spent the months before her first child’s birth in a fever of preparations, determined to obtain at least one blessing for her own offspring. She […]

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The Howling Detective

At his desk, Ken idled with a Polaroid picture and muttered a few confused curses. He had been staring at it for hours, finding something obvious and dismissing it as far too strange, refusing to appreciate it. “What’s that you lookin’ at there?” a coworker said over his shoulder. Ken turned it over and slid […]

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Pistol Grip

You press the barrel of the Aegis-IV Longslide into your partner’s hole, and he spreads for you like he’s purpose-built for this very moment. Your spinal reinforcements are made to handle recoil, but you can feel the tension of him juddering up your arm as you hold him still, keeping him there, keeping him under […]

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