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To make extra money, my father wrote music reviews for the Calgary Herald, and on Saturday nights, he went to hear the Symphony, or into recital halls to listen to the chamber music that was being performed around the city. He took me, once, to a performa

Rejected Titles for Beyoncé’s New Album...

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Technique, Technique, Technique, Technique, TECHNIQUE!

Airport Hotel

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We construct what we want, from what has failed in the past. We thought this worked. The picture was buzzing for me and I tried to hold on. I went blindly forward.

Power Ballad

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Her eyes were brown. But he wasn’t sure. He looked again: her eyes were blue. Her eyes were blue, and looking straight at him.

Old clothes, bread, cream and butter.

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‘Just get out of bed,’ I reply. ‘It looks like the fairies have been at your head. You should turn your clothes inside out. Put out a biscuit. Ring a bell. Buy a rooster; or a recording of it crowing. It will keep the sprites at bay.

Lazarus argentatus

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They take the blue man out on a stretcher, stiff in cyanotic repose until the paramedics shake him. He sits bolt upright, startled, confused, indignant. ‘Lazarus?' I ask. ‘Argyria. Happens every fucking time he naps on the …

The Beginning and End of Comedy

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Puberty, for Ellen, was less than an overnight event—yes, she got her period in a more or less timely fashion, but what her doctor referred to coolly as secondary sexual characteristics—namely, boobs—took their damned sweet time in coming.


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Lottie was a slim, fine looking woman. But Dale thought her breast implants were the worst case of overkill he had ever seen.

Stretching to Understand

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You looked like someone I didn't want to know. I guess that's why I got in the car that night. My penchant for self-destruction was aroused by your black nail polish and the lavender circles under your eyes. You looked like someone that could hurt me, yeah, that's why I got…

Jigsaw Magic

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Bonnie envied all of those people who instantly forgot their horrible traumas: Jessica Lynch, the Central Park jogger. Their own brains rescued them. Bonnie's brain was not so generous.


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I drove all night, but there weren’t nothing Roy Orbison about it. I’d been driving and around lunchtime I just thought I might stop by Shona’s place.


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At five minutes after six Chase knocks lightly on the door of my office. She's wearing a ripped up pair of Guess jeans and a heather ski sweater that brings out her eyes. She's blonde and deadly.

What if the Dungeon Closes

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This was around the time when all the restaurants started closing. We'd go out to dinner and find our first choice padlocked, windows white-washed, chairs balanced treacherously on tables. When we got to our second choice, our third choice, our fourth choice, it'd…

Inner Charlie

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When Charlie woke up he couldn’t find his inner Charlie.

Homecoming King

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John Lipkin took a drag off his cigarette and rummaged through his desk drawer looking for pot. There wasn't any. He remembered looking last night, but he looked again now. There wasn't a damn thing, just some stems…

Three Mississippi Fictions

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When I was sixteen, my dad’s new wife and her daughter, Mary Ann, moved in, so I had to get out. I found a burned-out one story place on Corey Road near the gas plant. When it wasn’t raining, you could see right up through the roof to the stars.


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I was a Cub Scout, and the face of God was a joke that was told to my little pack. The joke went as thus:


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She also castrated her cat. All by herself...with her Swiss Army Knife. And not with the blade either.


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she flips you a smile and a white plastic menu, and all the blood in your head, and upper body rushes to your crouch, and god-all- mighty, space aliens from the planet Vanna White could be landing in their unnumbered hoards in the parking lot, and all

Raise Really High The Roofbeam, Gassbag

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When I heard that my brother was going to get married, I was more surprised than anything, but also awed by his courage. Our sister, named Baah Baah during a particularly bad recreational substance binge by our fun-loving, aristocratic parents, Nancy and

The Way You Live Now

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You make a mental note of the rising number of people that know you. You vow to trim the list.

Two Brothers

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They run nonstop for weeks. Between traffic stalled cars. Down forgotten subways tunnels drilled long ago in the cold earth. Past burning sugarcane fields.

Juicy | In the Umbra

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He licks his lips and mouths the air, salivating, unashamed of his propensity for the round, pink grapefruit, the almost egg-shaped oranges, the firm, juicy tangerines.

Generational Loss

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I realize most automatonical authors stick to non-fiction, but if my work bears any resemblance to real automatons or events, I assure you it is purely coincidental.

The Case for Mashed Potatoes

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Steam rolls out of the bathroom as Mr. Larson opens the door with a white towel around his waist. Pepper strolls up to him and purrs as she rubs her long, gray tail against his tanned legs."Hey, girl.” He runs his coarse, scarred fingers through the cat's soft coat.…


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The guy stretches out his arm as he rounds up the herd of ducks that only want to bob. He pulls down his sleeve over a heart tattoo, faded from being seen so many times. It’s a skinny sort of heart tattoo, an askew heart from where I stand, an arrow fro


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She talks about window treatments, how the place is maybe too much for one. Wants me to know she’s not much of a cook, and wants me to smell what’s in her oven and compliment her cooking anyway.


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When we crossed the California/Oregon border, I had this vivid image of sleeping bags filled with human bones. I shook my head and the scene would not go away. The woods must be full of dead campers, hitch hikers, run-a-ways, and black teenage whores


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It doesn’t get dark for hours but Sam doesn’t know that. Mum bought extra-thick blinds for his bedroom windows.


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She wears a green and pink bikini and walks real slow, poking her chest out so people will notice her.