Special Issue: Holiday Noir 2019
Untitled by Mary Grimm

We gather for drinks like in those movies with a detective with a British accent. The confronting of the suspects and we’re all there.

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Christmas Carol by Morgana MacLeod

After a night of rotisserie sleep, turning over and over your firepit bed, you wake weary, ashes in your hair, heart pumping sludge. Even tinsel wilts in the heat, humidity suffocating sparkle.

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The Three Men by Al Kratz

And it came to pass, on such a winter’s eve, in a dark stable, that two thieving hands of two different men brushed against each other while grabbing the back of a sleeping mule.

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The Gift by Steven John

His daughter sent him a mobile phone for Christmas, together with instructions on how to turn it on and charge the battery. There was an earplug on a long, fiddly wire to help him hear her, when and if she had a moment.

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Lopsided Angel by Meg Pokrass

This was the quality Christmas had: Mom working on her plans of escape. Dad with his closed-door dreams. The Christmas angel drunk on top of the tree. Dad had recently come to think of Mom as a threat to his happiness.

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Initiation by Stuart Dybek

The doors snap open on Addison, and the kid in dirty hightops and a sleeveless denim jacket that shows off a blue pitchfork tattooed on his bicep jogs forward beneath a backward baseball cap and grabs the purse off a babushka’s lap.

Fun House by Robert Scotellaro

She’d gotten the fun house mirrors at an auction and had them put up in the spare bedroom.

Hermit & Bleeding Faucet by Ana María Shua

With the population now well aware of the physical and mental benefits of asceticism (low cholesterol, bradycardia, a delicate sense of happiness, spiritual fulfillment), everyone wants to become a hermit.

Café Mozart Dreamin’ by Tracey Meloni

Judie bangs on my hotel door. “The dressmaker is here! Hurry! You have Christmas lunch with Noah at Café Mozart at 1PM!” 

The Girl In Purple by Bobbie Ann Mason

Near dawn, Dennis Moore saw the iron gate to the courtyard inch open and the wisp of a girl squeeze through, clanging the gate behind her. Two minutes later, on the boardwalk, she halted as if for an invisible dog, then resumed her dog-walker gait. He followed her...