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Fiction

Phase Five

She’d never had anxiety before, never had to pause at each stage of dressing to practice deep breathing, assuring herself that once she got past the door, she’d be okay. Usually that held true. But if Doug came to get Jax, if they left her alone in this strange place, would she be able to keep breathing?

Long Division

Let me rephrase: you are connected by a rope to your mother or your father and you stand on a cliff while they dangle off the edge. Forget the grit of the dirt that you dig your heels into. Forget the force that the Earth exerts upon you just as you exert upon it. Forget air resistance and center of mass. The principle rests only on Newton’s second law: F = ma. The two of you aren’t individual entities, but one system.

Fire Season

All day she listened, stepped out into the yard to listen, and didn’t hear birds singing or insects buzzing. Heard only a little wind, perhaps, or the drumming of a neighbor who practices every day—who has practiced every day for months—never to arrive at any confidence or skill.

The Confidante

Her clients carried secrets inside them like tiny winged termites. The women brought them to Diva, the spa in Sunder Bagh, along with their naked limbs and tousled hair. The termites trembled and whispered inside the women, trapped and desperate,…