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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Under the Same Sun by Astrid Ann Larsen

Geneviève Gueron was as French as one could be. And while her peers were riding up and down the waves of hormonal instability, lamenting one second, rejoicing the next, she was simply and unequivocally in love with her life on the French Riviera. It had taken her some time to get used to the fierceness of the sunrays of the South, as the lack of obscuring buildings or tufts of sky made them bounce right off her white skin which would respond instantly with sizzling red spots. And with each day that passed, the deep yearning for her favourite dusty bookstores in Paris gave way to the undisputable dogmatic truth proclaimed by her parents, who had convinced themselves their new hometown would be kinder to them.

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Memory Drive by L’Erin Ogle

 

I am a dutiful wife.

It’s Monday.  Every Monday and Thursday, I visit Lucas.  I always bring new flowers, and since it’s the summer they’re from my own garden.  There are daisies and tulips and baby’s breath.  It doesn’t matter what I add to the water, or how I snip them, they are always dead when I come the next time.  The staff will have ensured there are no dead leaves scattered around the vase on his windowsill, but the stems will remain, withered stalks decaying in their coffin.

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Ugly by L’Erin Ogle

The muses are beautiful, but dangerous.

They are kept in silk lined stalls.

They have a very short life expectancy.  Two days from the time the first stitch is placed, because without food and water the skin dries up and shrivels, hanging too loose on the body to properly ink.

They are all silent, in honor of the very first mute muse, the first muse to become a book.  The thing is, no one even remembers the poems or title.  They only know the legend of the mute muse.

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