Peridot and Rain

We never know when the market will come, though it comes twice a year; a stretch of three days, or five, or seven or nine, but never more. Overnight, the sound of wood and nail and turning wheel in the fields that are never plowed, never grazed, where no brambleberries grow, and in the morning […]


Nutrition Facts

I’m told that the recipe never changes. It’s the same taro congee day after day, no added powders or ingredients. The taste is supposed to be consistent with only a few shifts in nutrients. I palm the sensoring pad and the vending machine squeezes it out from the robot with the mixing bowl behind glass. […]

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A Time to Reap

(Content Note for emotional abuse and mentions of sexual abuse.) For Shirley Jackson and Charles Dickens “This is a true-crime tale?” Two reporters sharing the shuttle with us, and of course I got the one who hadn’t done her homework. I suppose I should have been flattered that they were there—a Broadway musical spun off the […]


The Tailor and the Beast

A beast dwelt in the castle on the hill. There was nothing so very strange or unusual in this circumstance; recently it had been tremendously in fashion. A witch couldn’t really hope to make her debut in society without imprisoning at least one troublesome young man behind stone walls. Lucia Bellomi knew all of this, […]


Seed and Cinder

One night on the mountain, you eat his death. You don’t know what compels you to do it. It has been a trying day. Anyone might have committed the same thoughtless act of petty retaliation. Whatever the reason, when Kyoseong turns his back on you, slender hands on narrow hips, you take his death between […]



The cable has gone out again. The witch complains for a while, jiggling wires and prodding buttons and smacking the top of the TV with her hand. Then she falls asleep on the couch, her nose in the air, snoring faintly. One hand cups her stomach; the other hangs free, brushing the tangled carpet of […]