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Fiction

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Illustration by Landis Blair

A Friend [private]

Margo’s daughter came home from school that Friday with a new friend. From the window in the kitchen, where she was trying and failing to make decent croissants for the third time this week, Margo watched the bus deposit her eight-year-old daughter, Anya, and some unknown boy, which was odd because the town was so small and Margo had often been at Anya’s school to volunteer and had no memory of him.

Illustration by Landis Blair

The Tobacconist

There was a period of my life when I saw wombs all around me, and so of course the chandeliers were uteruses. Uteruses of crystal and chrome, suspended in air. Brass Fallopian tubes. Dozens of them hung in the shop. Some were gorgeous, some tacky. But none of them could be called hostile, like my own womb.

Illustration by Landis Blair

The Year 2003 Minus 20

Reney’s bones can feel a fight long before the rest of her wakes to the rising voices and clattering bottles. She is eight, almost nine. Granny and Lula live in a new rent house across the tracks and down a long hill, not so very far. Over there—standing on a chair rolling up balls of dough as Granny’s hearing aids whistle, or lying curled into Granny’s great body napping—is Reney’s best place. But Reney knows that her place is with her mom.