The Nalendar

Down at the riverfront at Kalub, the little gods congregated in clouds, flies and dragonflies and even small birds approaching would–be travelers. They scattered out of the way of wagons and carts, circled over the flagstoned road and then re–formed.  Umri walked through them, careful not to jostle or hit. The citizens of Kalub paid […]



The first strange thing Nadia pulled from her pocket was a piece of fudge. It was a perfectly ordinary piece of fudge. But Nadia hated fudge, and couldn’t imagine how she’d come to be carrying it around. She remembered this in particular because it was a bright, cool autumn day and she’d dug into her […]

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Anyone With a Care for Their Image

Today, without trepidation, I send my beloved Marquette out in the city, checking her hair (ringlets still perfect). Her gown, (modeled on that worn by the Princess de Polignac at the crowning of Napoleon the Third) remained flawless. I murmur, “Old age is ripe with memories that should have taught me not to do the […]


Folding Beijing

1. At ten of five in the morning, Lao Dao crossed the busy pedestrian lane on his way to find Peng Li. After the end of his shift at the waste processing station, Lao Dao had gone home, first to shower and then to change. He was wearing a white shirt and a pair of […]


The Boy Who Grew Up

It was in the park I met him, one summer day when my Dad and I were fighting (again) and I left (again), slamming the door behind me after realizing I wouldn’t be winning (again), and took the tube to Kensington Gardens, where sometimes you can meet interesting people if the timing and other magical […]



Outside, the rush of wings. The shadows of birds tessellated across my wall, a fraction of a second behind the flight. A flock of birds. An exaltation, a parliament, a murder. Their chirps and chatter filled the sky. This much commotion, it must mean a soul’s migration, from death to life again. One of the […]


Late Nights at the Cape and Cane

Doc Sinister was sloppy drunk, scared, and monologuing. The first and third weren’t unusual for one A.M. at the Cape and Cane on a—do you call it Tuesday night or Wednesday morning?—but the second worried me. “They don’t get it.” He pounded his glass on the table for punctuation, and a fountain of expelled bourbon […]