To Go Home to Leal

The pronouncements of the captain were drowned by the goading of the crowd, but his actions were clear. It took three men to hold Kaul's father's left arm on the block. One soldier brought out a broad-bladed axe and his father's struggles renewed. The axe-man bent over him, giving instructions, but Kaul's father's eyes rolled and he screamed. The axe-man seemed to shrug; then, raising his weapon, he brought it down, once, with a sickening crunch.

Afterward, Kaul felt a strange lightness, as though he were not standing in the street, not looking down on his father's broken body, not the recipient of smirks and looks of pity as others brushed past him.
A Marble for the Drowning River

I held out my hand with the marble in it, and the drowned girl reached out her long fingers and lifted it gently out of my palm, not even touching me with one of her fingernails. She rolled it in her hand for a moment, looking into the misty shadows in the glass, and then swallowed it, grinning almost like she was still human.

I was afraid to say anything, but my mouth said, “please don’t kill her” without making any sound.
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There hadn't been a killing in years, though. We'd forgotten.
From the Archives:
My Father’s Wounds
Father guides my hand to the ruin of his belly. My fingers sink into the wound, touching something moist and pulsing—