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Story Excerpts

To Make an End
by William Preston

If a story begins with finding, it must end with searching.
—Penelope Fitzgerald, The Blue Flower

Last night had brought Shoshana’s first moments of belief. Isaac, her brother, had believed since the fringe idea had caught his imagination four years ago. Their parents had inexplicably vanished like thousands of others, lost like millions to more explicable causes in this ravaged time, leaving Shoshana to protect an obsessed adolescent. She had followed Isaac’s strange pilgrimage, thinking one day he would wake from it. But now they were climbing the final hill, and it seemed that her brother’s tale of a buried hero might be true. READ MORE


Arazem-2 Is Waiting for a Letter
by Amal Singh

Arazem unclasps his wobbly knee-joint, where the varnish has faded through the years. The bronze fibula and tibia peek out of the hollow cylinder of his thigh like three fingers, their wiring frayed, like vellus hair outcroppings. He applies oil to the joint, whirrs the rotator wheel to make sure it’s smooth. Mehdi Hassan’s ghazal wafts in his hibernation chamber from the other room, where Arazem has put the vinyl. If he has to make yet another journey to the Bureau tomorrow, he can’t afford a bad knee. Outside, the heat is relentless, the asphalt on the road melting into black puddles. He might have to reapply paint on his chassis to make sure he doesn’t overheat. Factory-grade coolants from Atul & Sons don’t work, and so Arazem has to go for something higher. Maybe Solezam from Apartment Four will lend him his coolant. His chassis is the same model as Arazem, and he is also waiting for directions from the Bureau. Much like Arazem, he is also lonely. READ MORE


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