“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 […]


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 […]


Like a River Loves the Sky

My best friend NPW has been collecting dogs from the side of the highway. He drives miles and miles each day with one eye to the shoulder, on the lookout for heaps of dark fur. Into black trash bags the blood-matted bodies go, and into the big plastic cooler he “liberated” from a summer hunting […]


And Yet

Only idiots go back to the haunted houses of their childhood. And yet. Here you are. Standing on the sagging, weed-strangled front porch that hasn’t changed in twenty years. Every dip in the floorboards, every peeling strip of paint is exactly as you remember it. Time seems to have ricocheted off this place. Except not […]


Old Habits

Ghost malls are even sadder than living people malls, even though malls of the living are already pretty damned sad places to be. And let me get this out of the way right now, before we go any farther; I’m dead, okay? I’m fucking dead. This is not going to be one of those stories […]


The Date

What drew me to her? It was the way she walked down the street that caught my eye, how people parted in her wake. It was the way she swayed, how the sun played off the velvet gleam of her exoskeleton. It was her glass-sharp grace, the snap-quick turn of her head that told you […]