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Tales

The Maple Tree Inn

The Maple Tree Inn started life as a rich man’s farmhouse. “Old Nick’s a rich man, indeed,” my father told me. “He won’t eat hot dogs.” We lived over the ridge from Nick and there was a rolling pasture where I’d train my binoculars on Nick as he hobbled about on his cane. One day […]

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Tales

Cora

I realised I was the last person awake, apart from the hosts, so I prepared to leave. They weren’t having any of it – they gave me a couple of sofa cushions and insisted that I crash in the spare room, if I could find any floor space. I got up and wove my way […]

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Tales

Kodak Moment

Donny stared vacantly at his estranged uncle Lorenzo. He noticed how makeup had tried to mask his uncle’s dark-skinned goateed face. It looked made of candle wax. Donny was in this same position last week, peering down at his uncle, but not in a funeral home. It was in the backyard of his childhood home […]

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Tales

Santa Always Blows His Cover

It was Christmas 1995 when Mom burnt the bacon and Dad was just getting home. I tore open the packaging to the Mortal Kombat-brand plastic ship and Ray pulled a puppy out of a box. “Ruby!” he announced, holding up the furry dog he’d dreamt of since summer. “Where’s Liu Kang and Raiden?” I asked […]

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Tales

Santa In A Bottle

When night comes, on Christmas Eve, before I stop the world and go to sleep, I pour myself a drink. The sticky bottle talks to me, in the voice of Santa. That’s a ritual he repeats every year; he comes in different forms to surprise me. Santa is a shape-shifter. He left behind the red […]