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Articles tagged "Fantastic"

Velocity

I met her on the day that I divorced the sow. She came up to me and asked if I wanted a hug. She was wearing a black T-shirt with the words “International Hug Day” emblazoned on it. Behind her trailed a flock of smiling huggers. On any other day I would have yelled at them to go get a real job, since I knew they were the type who turn the celebration of “international days”—days like “No-Smoking Day,” “Family Day,” “Accident-Free...

The Navidad Incident: The Downfall of Matías Guili

The Navidad Incident takes place in the fictional South Sea island republic of Navidad. The novel opens as a delegation of Japanese war veterans pays an official visit to the ex-World War II colony, only to see the Japanese flag burst into flames. The following day, the tour bus, and its passengers, simply vanish. BUS REPORT 1 At 6:00 A.M., lowest ebb tide, a bus was sighted crossing the lagoon between Gaspar and Baltasár islands, sending ripples across the surface. The yellow...

Orkish Cornbread

The first record of Orkish cornbread is found in the journals of the warlord Ur-Agarish. The original document is lost to time, but a saying remains: "He who dodges the cornbread and sours the kraut, then cream his neck!" Obtaining the Ingredients:  The basis of every good cornbread is corny flour. It is harvested by the Giants of the Corned Hills. You will need to give the giants plenty of firewater. When they are wasted, steal the corn. But remember, the cornstalks are so...

The Red Loaf

Pluto Jedediah, dandy of the Caledonian Market, tells this tale: May dogs grow horns, I thought, waking on a bed in a seedy hotel, if I recall the creature for the sake of whose foot I found myself once again naked between soiled sheets. For there could be no other explanation. What other prey did I pursue through rain and darkness down dockside alleys, along sidewalks sown with rice, thick with wilted sediment from teapots, but one glimpsed beneath a raincoat’s glistening hem? A...

Dustland

There was a rustle in the bush up ahead and I froze in my tracks. The bush rustled again and I thought there must be a snake in it. Snakes scared me even before, but now one had actually bitten me. It was some poisonous kind and I nearly died. Only someone who’s been bitten at least once by a venomous snake can appreciate how much a person who’s been bitten comes to fear this slithery creature. He starts seeing snakes everywhere, and I too began to see one in this dry bush....

The Man Who Buried Himself

It was extraordinary, the change that came over my friend. The jovial, witty, and carefree youth had become a melancholic, taciturn, and cautious man. His moments of abstraction were frequent, and in them it seemed as if his spirit were wandering the paths of another world. One of our friends, a diligent reader and decipherer of Browning, remembering the strange piece in which the poet tells us of the life of Lazarus after he was resurrected, would often say that poor Emilio had visited...

At Livia’s Bar

This time she's building a city. The first city after eleven islands in a row, now gathered together in the soft red folder which, when her father goes out for a coffee in the evenings and she finds herself alone, she takes out of the drawer beside her bed, before pulling out one of the maps and descending somewhere into it. Here she comes to a chocolate shop, full of fragrance and cocoa powder. Here she comes to a lounge living room with a giant...

The Zacharias Ascaris Affair

It all began five years ago, going on six. Ballast Publishing, a fledgling British publishing house, had just launched the first (and last) novel of its catalog, The Zacharias Ascaris Affair. No one, absolutely no one, could have foreseen the upheaval that this book would set in motion. Admittedly, the adventures of the young Zacharias Ascaris, though narrated with an undeniable flair for suspense, were in no way extraordinary. A group of adolescents, a few twists, a love story, a touch...

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