Labyrinth: from the novel Touristico

  The beach.  The cove.  Children were playing a brutal game of king of the hill on the pillar I’d once claimed as mine.  Behind them, in the shadows of the cliff face, a temporary town, global nomads on the lam, their tents and sleeping rolls spiraling inward, three, four, five layers deep. I clung to the […]

The Red Dress

Nadine Monfils was born in Etterbeek, Belgium in 1953. A novelist, short story writer, film director and producer, for many years she taught screenwriting at the Université Européenne d’Ecriture in Brussels and in prisons throughout France. As a journalist and film critic, she has been a regular contributor to Père Ubu, Focus, and Tels Quels. Her first book of stories, Laura […]

When the Vampire King Went to South Carolina

They were just finishing up their second case of Bud when the Vampire King showed up. Hinckley’s wife wanted to get pregnant again, so he was putting away two for every one of Chad’s. Gerrold was pissed off because he’d gotten screwed by yet another investment opportunity. Also, his wife had left him, backing up […]

Lull: Classic Kelly Link

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are thrilled to present Kelly Link’s weird and wonderful short story “Lull,” with special permission by the author. “Lull” copyright ©2002 was first published in Conjunctions 39 and reprinted in Kelly Link’s Magic For Beginners (Random House, 2014).   There was a lull in the conversation. We were down in the basement, sitting […]

The Eunuchs

To Maurice Spronck             Spadones! They were crouching on slabs of rock, with knees held together, and rubbing the toes of their slippers with silver handled canes. Their saffron colored robes spread out around them, and an odor of cinnamon wafted from their skin. They reclined like this, sweating among the sauna boys, men dressed […]

The Plague

Marcel Schwob (1867 – 1905) was a French symbolist author, remembered for his numerous and varied short stories, literary monographs, newspaper chronicles of fin-de-siècle Paris, and linguistic tracts on medieval slang, much of which sprang from his fabled devotion to archival research. While his work has fallen into relative obscurity, it was hailed in his day by writers […]

The Queen of Spades

Night travelers step from the train. I’m freezing. Footsteps hammer the street, shaking white droplets loose. The gutters are streaming. Mice are nibbling on cobwebs. Cows moo in the mist. Everywhere, without speaking a word, they fear the Queen of Spades. She is a woman, a monster, some claim; others maintain she is a gigantic insect; the truth is […]