The Guaxi

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by Michael Díaz Feito
Image: Naomi Binnie

It was too hot in the banquet hall—like a jungle!—so we were distracted, complaining and searching for the thermostat, and no one saw Tío Kiko give Rita the knife.

It was her twelfth birthday. Kiko stopped her by the buffet table. He asked if she already owned a knife. She didn’t answer, looking down at her sandaled toes, instead, because he scared her. He was giant. Bald, red-faced, and broad-nosed, our only blue-eyed relative. He finished picking from the plastic tray of pyramid-stacked croquetas and clapped his big hands clean of crumbs. He asked her again. Continue Reading

The Man in the Suitcase

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by Dennis Pahl
Image: Luda Pahl

Everything was going fine when I entered my hotel room. Everything was going fine, that is, until the moment I opened up my suitcase and discovered, inside, a man I’d never seen before. At least he didn’t look familiar. Barely taking notice of me, the man nonchalantly stood up, stretched his arms, brushed himself off, and stepped out. He almost tripped over the edge of the suitcase, but somehow managed at the last second to keep his balance, shyly smiling at his near-fall.
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Rainbow Nightmare

Nightmare Rainbow

by Erik Fuhrer
Image: Kimberly Androlowicz

A nightmare lived at the end of a rainbow and Charlie was determined to see it so he twisted his face into a star and visited the moon for some inside info since the moon sometimes bathed in the lake at the neck of the rainbow. The moon was to his dismay only a gaping yellow mouth in the belly of the lake which spoke no secrets but only slightly swished when a bird or Charlie’s toe slipped inside it. Continue Reading

Solutions

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by Mwinji Siame
Image: Mwinji Siame

One of the only joys (if you could call it a joy because it seemed like a natural thing a woman should have been able to do by the new millennium) of being single or rather, a divorcée, was not having to answer to anyone and consider what others would say about how and with whom you spent your days. So, on a sleepy Saturday afternoon in the middle of very middle-class Lusaka (like where your moderately wealthy and/or educated aunty who can still tighten her wrapper before a fight would stay) two friends, both divorced, arranged to meet, spontaneously, to do whatever they wanted to do together on that day. Although, this was probably something these two particular women would have done without permission or fear anyway. Continue Reading

The Siren of the Wailing Lake

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by Christina Rosso
Image: Isabel Rock

The siren sits on a gray rock in the middle of the Wailing Lake cleaning her teeth. Her scaly blue-gray pointer finger twirls a section of coontail against her thumb. She lifts her hand, and her fingers work the forked leaves of the plant between her snow white fangs. The creature uses the tip of her tongue to catch some leftover pieces of pink flesh. She licks her full lips, and then closes them, creating a smacking sound as saliva and flesh separate and meet. Continue Reading

Erica

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by Frances Donnelly
Image: Frances Donnelly

She went to his house at dusk, when the sky and the ground and the buildings in between were all mixed into the same purplish soup. Dusk spreading over the village had always calmed Erica, but now she felt the thrill of intermingling currents and things hidden amongst them, and she trailed her fingers in loops ahead and behind her – night to day, day to night, light to dark, dark to light. When the boy she was walking with caught sight of what she was doing and gave her a knowing glance, she bunched her fingers into fists and fixed her eyes on the path ahead.
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Everything Around Me Keeps Turning into Rocks

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by Jordan Moffatt
Image: Raquel Hladky Calanda

My friend Shelagh told me to meet her at this new coffee place downtown so I went there, but I was a little early and Shelagh hadn’t arrived yet so I figured I’d get myself an espresso allonge and save a table and wait for her but when I got my espresso allonge it wasn’t an espresso allonge at all, it was just a handful of rocks, and so I went to complain to the barista but the barista was just a pile of rocks and the table I’d saved was also a pile of rocks and that’s when I realized I wasn’t at the cafe at all — I was at the beach, the rocky one not the sandy one, and instead of being early at the cafe I was actually late because I’d spent so much time confusing rocks for things and I was still a five minute bicycle ride from the cafe (six minutes if you include the time it takes for me to unlock and then lock my bicycle). Continue Reading

The Last Waltz

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by Norman Belanger
Image: Brian Morrow

The Danube is not blue. Tonight, anyway, it is green and deeply murky. Something fetid rises up in the mists of it, a miasma stink that will always remind me of this sad city, a scent of rotting vegetation and dank, dead things that float to the surface of its turbid waters. When the white bulbs flicker along the Chain bridge, their reflection is almost beautiful, but it’s a trick of the light, the winking eye of a stranger that is there, and fleeting, gone. Continue Reading

LIVE OUT THE GHOST LIFE

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by Clarissa Lempp
Image: Mario Büger
Translation: Ambika Thompson

I used to live in a haunted apartment, and what can I say, it didn’t go well. The apartment was an evil place, which I figured out pretty quickly. Cold corners, slamming doors, walls that bled and whining children’s voices in the night. Sleep wasn’t an option and even the milk in the fridge turned sour. The living biomass in the dead-soul-zone provided plenty of suspense. There was negative energy everywhere, and as an illegal lodger I couldn’t even try and fight for a rent reduction. Continue Reading