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Short Stories

Fiction

To Rectify in Silver

At least twice a day it occurs to Marissa that the photos she uses to find Neolithic long barrows and Roman forts were taken to better plot destruction. Every image passing through her hands is labeled at the top in a language she cannot speak. A freezing of the land to ease the locating of bombs and the advancing of invasions.

Fiction

The Plague Puller

Stopping by the canal to piss, and only a third of his way back to the House of Death, Ah Keng found his friend Leung, dead of the cholera. He recognized his oldest friend immediately, even in the darkness; even in this state. Leung’s sickness-shriveled body lay a few feet from brackish water, pallid face upturned towards the moon. Leung. It was really Leung.

Fiction

Inkmorphia

For my eighteenth birthday, I get a tattoo. A small red heart on my shoulder, Loot inked across it in black cursive. Loot was my brother’s nickname. He was twelve years old when he disappeared. I was seven. The next morning, I peel off the bandage to take a look. A vine with thorns where there was no vine with thorns. It wraps around the heart, above and below Loot’s name.

Fiction

Glimpses in Amber

My visitor gazes at our family bookshelves. I perceive right away that this is less the helpless bibliophile’s habit of scanning the titles of any shelf encountered in the wild, than an exercise in measuring me, of finding the best means of approach. We are in the family living room, a welcoming space with, among other things, three double bookcases. It is not an extraordinary book collection to find in the home of people who read.

Fiction

Gordon B. White is creating Haunting Weird Horror

You’ve enjoyed a few of his stories and you follow each other on Twitter, so when you see that horror and weird fiction author Gordon B. White has started a Patreon, you think, “Sure, I’ll throw him a couple of bucks.” You pick the $7 tier—Postcards of Lesser Known Haunted Houses—thinking it might be a lark to get a picture and a microfiction each month for your modest contribution.

Fiction

At The Periphery

He asks for a table by himself, in a quiet part of The Periphery. It’s late, nearly ten, and the pub is just about empty. Ali has twenty minutes left on her shift. She doesn’t care where he sits. “Anywhere you want is fine, sir,” she says. He slips into a booth full of shadows. One of the lights on the wall is gone. He’s a tall man, this man who slouches down in the seat, his features worn. She cannot guess his age.

Fiction

Cake Between the Teeth

I only know what you’ve told me. Around 11 p.m. while I’m checking yogurt expiration dates for tomorrow’s continental breakfast, you are pulling over to a man crumpled on the side of the highway. It’s a dangerous place to be, trapped between concrete and a road that’s iced over several times since the New Year. At any moment, a car could whip out of the tunnel, just as you did on your Yamaha, and smear him like butter along the dividing wall. I don’t know why you stop.

Fiction

Empty Houses

The new house had a lot of mirrors in it. Not, like, a freakish number—just more mirrors than I’d ever had before. They were in the usual places: bathrooms, closet doors, a nice-full length in the foyer so you could check your coat and shoes. But they were on the back of every door: bathroom doors, bedroom doors, even the odd little door that topped the staircase onto the second floor. There were additional mirrors in each bedroom—big ones!

Fiction

The Cabbit

“It’s a cabbit.” He wiggles his fingers through the grille of the hard plastic kennel. He is John or Tim, or maybe Jim: some name that means random white guy at a Midwestern college. It’s not that I don’t care. I just can’t quite remember. Through one of the air holes, I glimpse something that swirls, dark and shining, like a galaxy. It speaks of hidden places—but when Jim pulls the furry body into the light, all I can think is soft and long. Soft, long ears. A curling cat’s tail.

Fiction

Negative Space

You’re sitting on a couch in a home that’s not yours. On the floor in front of you are three young children—two boys and a girl—playing with toys. In the corner of the room is a sparsely-decorated Christmas tree. On the wall to the left of the tree hangs a flatscreen television displaying images of the kids’ dead father. He looks at you, smiles, winks. No one else notices.