The Hungry Valley

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Now he fed his horses too much rich corn sweetened with molasses: their middles were round and taut as barrels, and their hooves curled, and instead of nipping and tossing about like they had in the past, they loitered at the gate all day, calling out to him whenever he passed. His old dog he fed too much kibble and too many table scraps: its back was strangely broad and thin of hair like a threadbare piece of overstuffed furniture, and it could no longer move quickly nor jump with ease. The cats lapped milk from pie tins on the barn floor […]

Web Exclusive Interview: Kyle Langston

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Our January Web Exclusive, “Winston” is one of those stories that gets under your skin and stays there. Its power is owed to precise, enduring images; the relatable longing of its characters; and beginning-to-end tension.  Really, it gave us a lot of feelings—which we then discussed with author Kyle Langston. […]

Winston

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He killed a hare and removed its heels, yanked from the meat of each haunch the bone he did not know to be the tibia. He laid the leg bones parallel on the flattest nearby stone and split the wide end of both with one press of his Bowie. He set each in a convenient niche that was the absence of a second premolar, sucked loose marrow while he worked skinning the leporid and stringing it above a new fire, his lips pinned back by the bones. […]

Web Exclusive Interview: Leslie Parry

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Our December Web Exclusive, “The Night Bus, beautifully elucidates the moment two lives intersect—lives forever changed by random acts of violence. We talked with author Leslie Parry about anonymity, anxiety, and a very effective antidote for procrastination. […]

A Guide to Sirens

Jacques Callot (French, 1592 - 1635 ), Siren between Two Ships, 1628, etching, Rosenwald Collection

Frank’s island tour—offered free to hotel guests—is described by the Paradise Inn’s brochure as a brief excursion into the island’s myths, mysteries, and mermaids, its selkies and sirens. What the brochure fails to mention is that most of the tour is aimed at selling extra-cost amenities. Frank has today’s group look at the hotel’s spa, the sea-themed restaurant, the saltwater pool, and some pinkish seashells with purported medicinal properties. Only after that does he finally gather the handful of patrons inside a thatched pavilion on the beach. […]

Ships

George Willoughby Maynard_Strange Seas_SQ

In Varna we stayed in the apartment building across the street from the house of the sea captain. There lived his juicy wife, beautiful daughter, gorgeous son-in-law, and two grandchildren, a girl and Mario. The heads of the black Labrador and the big orange cat were framed by the heart-shaped iron door ornament, and a gold plaque below them read: “Captain Tomov’s family. An exemplary home.” Every year it seemed the house grew one story higher. It looked like a schooner. The wind billowed out the colorful sheets and beach towels that hung on wooden clothespins, threatening to sail the entire house away. […]

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