Fiction

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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Interlingua

I was monitoring Cherie Peng’s pulse, breathing, her sweaty palms, all of it, when the Sarissa interrupted me. “This proposal of yours,” the Sarissa said. She—the Sarissa insisted on the animate feminine instead of the inanimate sentient pronoun like most of us ships—sent me the document reference so I knew which proposal she was talking […]

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I Seen the Devil

I don’t claim that this story is true, and I don’t care if you believe it. It happened in 1973, when I was ten years old. It’s impossible to verify. But I’m still going to tell it to you. On this particular hot summer night, I ran through the swamp behind the trailer park as […]

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Wooden Feathers

The carving was going badly. Sarah examined the duck decoy before her and sighed. The bill was shaped entirely wrong. It was supposed to be a mallard, but she hadn’t taken enough off before she began shaping and now the bill was half again as long as it should be. I’ll flare the bill and […]

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