Fiction

The Artificial Bees

Randall lowered one foot on to the surface of green fibers. The organic matter yielded under her weight but seemed to support her. She dared to put a second foot on to the strange, graminoid material—just as Archive came back with a response. “A lawn,” it told her. “Proceed with operation.” Randall prowled across the […]

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The Wolf and the Tower Unwoven

Scrawny and boyish in his ill–fitting humanity, the wolf paced naked through my forest. Even my old eyes could see the way grasping brambles had torn his unprotected skin. An unwoven thing he was, a creature of the tower’s making. My responsibility. Or, at least, my fault. I set a platter of cold meat on […]

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The Shadow Collector

For Cindy Pon In the garden where girls grew from flowers, their days washed in the distant trills of the queen’s wooden flute, a gardener toiled. His name was Rajesh, and in his spare time, he collected shadows. Shadows of nectar–loving hummingbirds, shadows of laughing fathers, shadows of hawks who preyed on squirrels. Rajesh had […]

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Just Another Future Song

As they pulled him out of the oxygen tent, he asked for the latest party. “Oh, Mr. Jones,” one of the nurses said, amused. “We wouldn’t forget that.” The nurses, women in gray smocks with pale faces, moved in and out of view, murmuring in conspiratorial voices. Something important had happened. Something that he should […]

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Love Is Never Still

The Sculptor Through every moment of carving, I want her as one wants a woman. I want this lithe creature whose limbs I’ve freed from their ivory enclosures, whose rounds and slopes are discovering their shapes beneath my chisel. She is delicately colored like the palest of women, and when I run my fingers across […]

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The Sincerity Game

Jameson did not settle well; when keeping his company, neither did anyone else. His fingertips tapped, his foot bounced, his lips were perpetually chewed or dampened with a quick dart of tongue. He kept his hair buzzed short, taming some flyaway curling problem. He exuded a cloud of nervous energy like biting flies. I learned […]

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The Creeping Women

“What a delicious garden!” Jane said after we moved into the house and began to explore the grounds of the estate my brother had leased for the summer. It was good to hear such joy in Jane’s voice, for she tends to be absorbed in melancholy matters most days, and as spending the summer at […]

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Lotus Face and the Fox

Under the light fall of spring rain, three masked figures dashed through the crowded streets of Tsang. As they ran, they called to each other with a chorus of animal sounds: the chitter of rats, the coo of the black pigeons, and the mewing of the city’s dainty–footed cats. They were followed by a string […]

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The Spy Who Never Grew Up

There is a magic shore where children used to beach their coracles every night. The children have stopped coming now, and their little boats are tipped over on the sides, like the abandoned shells of nuts eaten long ago. The dark sea rushes up to the pale beach and just touches the crafts, making them […]

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