Tuesdays with Molakesh the Destroyer
Molakesh the Destroyer moved into the house next door the summer I turned fifteen. There was the expected neighborhood gossip at first, with Mom and her friends worrying about what having a demon on our street might do for property values and with one particularly zealous neighbor lining her property with crosses, but it died down after a few months. Destroyer he may be called, but he kept his yard tidy and pulled in his trash cans at night, so the Homeowners Association turned their scowls on other targets.
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Apartment Dwellers Bestiary
You’re showing your boyfriend what to put in a smoothie and you open a cupboard because he told you that he had toasted coconut somewhere and you figure sure, coconut, why not; and that’s where his aincolo is: squatting in the yellow serving bowl his mom gave him last year for Christmas. That’s cool. You have lots of friends with aincolos. They get in everywhere. But he was so weird about it, picked up the bowl with the aincolo hunched down now, nothing visible but two eyes in a cloud of cream-colored fur, and took it out to the living room and hid it somewhere. Why? Why.
But this got you wondering what else there was, what porn on his hard drive, what numbers in his contacts lists, what texts, what friends, what memories; and you realized you really don’t know anything about him and, more, that you don’t really want to. You have your own secrets, one of them that you aren’t over your last boyfriend yet, and that his is still the only name in your favorites list.
The House of Aunts
The first time she saw the boy across the classroom, Ah Lee knew she was in love because she tasted durian on her tongue. That was what happened–no poetry about it. She looked at a human boy one day and the creamy rank richness of durian filled her mouth. For a moment the ghost of its stench staggered on the edge of her teeth, and then it vanished.
She had not tasted fruit since before the baby came. Since before she was dead.
An Evolutionary Myth
When a protracted drought struck the kingdom, the leaves of every plant wilted down into fine, sharp needles, and their stems bulged, to conserve as much water as possible. Fat collected and grew beneath the horses’ skin, and formed into humps on their backs, and squirrels began to build their nests beneath the cool ground instead of in the trees. Dogs, unable to bear the heat, shed their fur in clumps. Even in the fall, the fields turned not golden but a drab green, because people planted potatoes and corn instead of rice.
So Much Cooking
Wooden Feathers Ursula Vernon
The carving was going badly.