Theatrical Spirits by Kilmeny MacMichael.

In this year of unrest, Daniel Luis was sharing a small house with his mother, sister, his pregnant wife, and daughter. He needed work.

“You will be the new janitor at the Municipal Theater,” his uncle said, “It pays little, but the work is easy. Clean up after every performance. Do your work and be invisible, and maybe in time, I can find you something better. Here is the key to the door. They say the theater is haunted, so wear your crucifix.”

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Mandragora by Andrew Johnston

“Someone really lives here? Geez. Always thought the place was abandoned.”

Detective Kolar undid her seat belt and opened the door to the cruiser. “Even in this state, it’s still a multi-million-dollar home. I’m sure he can’t sell it, plus you know how stubborn these old guys can get.”

“I guess,” said Detective Slaski. “Still, you’d think he’d put some of that website money into renovations. It’s…I don’t know, a little creepy keeping it like this.”

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Waiting by Hayley Sleigh

‘We were fair game 
but we have kept out of the cesspool.
We are strong.
We are the good ones.
Do not discover us
for we lie together all in green
like pond weeds.
Hold me, my young dear, hold me.’

Anne Sexton, Rapunzel

The sound at the end of the phone was a metallic female voice, not her mother’s. “I’m sorry.” Pause. Her mum’s voice: “ANGELA.” Pause, then the robot woman again.

“… cannot come to the phone right now. Please leave a message after the tone.”

“Mum, I don’t want you to worry, but please call me back if you can. I just wanted to tell you… I forgive you.”

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