Stories: Table of Contents

O The Humanities

New English Review, September 2022

image of father and daughter

After Papa was done with banging in the kitchen, he came upstairs to dress Sara and wash her face. Normally she would have been allowed to do these things herself, but this night Papa had a party and so Sara needed special pigtails, a dress so long it tripped her, and a freckled faced so scrubbed her cheeks looked just like tomatoes even before she blushed. Taking a soft brown belt from her closet, she cinched it close and tucked a sword there to complete the getup.

“Wouldn’t you rather your magnet angel downstairs?”

“No way. I got that for you,” she said, “Besides, someone needs to have a sword.”

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Magicians for Good & Ill

The Fairy Tale Magazine, December 14, 2021

magician with staff

Long ago there lived an old king who when young had married a woman he deeply loved. She bore him one daughter and then she died. All the king’s advisers told him to take another wife, one who might bear him a son. All told him this but one tall and gaunt adviser, known as a skilled magician, who said that it was an ill-omen to marry with a heart sore sick with grief. And so the king refused every lady of the realm.

Now in time the princess grew, and all the gentlemen of the kingdom wanted her. Not only was she as beautiful and witty as her mother, not only did she have the strength and tenderheartedness of her father, but any man who wed the princess would inherit the throne upon her father’s death.

And yet still many advisers cautioned him to take a new wife. And yet still the magician said that it was an ill omen to marry with a heart sore sick with grief. The king still missed his wife dearly, and so he did not marry.

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Five Ages of a Man

New English Review, December 2021

Stages of Life by Casper David Friedrich

The teacher calls on me and I move the placard so she can see. It’s a new year and she’s new too. Young and pretty, and all the boys behind me talk about her in whispers. I’m thinking what they’re saying, but I’d never voice it. I’m no savage.

I’ve decorated my placard with negligent design. The drawings are thoughtless, almost random, but stuffed with more reality than the other kids even try at. She glances at the drawings, at my name, and then pays attention to my face.

“So, your name is Edwin and you’re interested in?”

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