Goods from the Far East by Christopher Eirkson

Potosí, Charcas, New Spain


They call it Silver Mountain, but it has only brought misery to my people.

My head hurts. Kneeling, I plunge both arms into the pool of gray sludge, feeling for another lump of stone. My fingers close around a rock and I haul it out. A piece the size of an infant’s head. I know from overhearing the Spanish azoguero that after the bonding process with mercury, the silver in this rock is worth a small crate of porcelain. But I don’t know what porcelain is, except that it is some kind of platterware.

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Ghost Hats by Marco Etheridge

Grace Walsh stood on the platform of the train station, imagining the dead. The tracks and platforms of the Bahnhof were cut into a hillside. On the far side of the tracks, the earth was held back by a concrete wall fronted with rough concrete pillars. The wall was the height of two Irish women, more or less. A graveyard crowded the brink of the wall, almost spilling over onto the tracks below. Above the concrete edge, Grace could see headstones adorned with bright splotches of flowers. The Viennese tended their dead well. At least you could say that much for them.

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The Novella of Jason Bendix by Penny Faircloth

Jason Bendix had finished writing his new novella the evening before. It was the first mature work that he had written. For nearly three years he had been trying to find his voice and to whet all artifice from his sentences. Thirteen, fourteen stories had been his apprentice work. First, he had written stories of two or three thousand words each. Then, he had managed a few five-thousand-word beasts of burden. The three ten-thousand worders had been monstrosities which cost him dearly.

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