Short stories published in 2004

Listing 32 stories.

After a British teenager gets paid to kill avatars in a popular video game, she uncovers the disturbing real-world consequences of her virtual missions.

A middle-aged woman visits the house of her ex-husband and his new wife to reunite with her son after his trip abroad. She tries to remain courteous, but when her ex-husband appears aged and unhappy, she can't help but think of it as his revenge.

A group of kids in a Chicago neighborhood direct both spite and love at two old women who are not who they seem.

A young woman makes a detour on her way home to visit a man she met on a train. Though the man is married, the woman hopes to rekindle the spark she felt during the train-ride.

The estranged daughter of a writer visits his apartment to take care of his belongings after he passes away. She finds his lingering presence in the form of notes scattered throughout the room, and as she reads the words he has left behind, she tries to process his death and the lack of reconciliation in their relationship.

A middle-aged, male photojournalist from the Midwest reports in Afghanistan alongside a journalist from England. The photojournalist ponders death and human conflict as his day spirals into disarray and the English journalist’s malaria becomes frighteningly serious.

In a small town, a resident watches as the people and place change. He recounts eight seemingly disparate stories, but the town connects them all.

A young, beast-like creature who works as an apprentice to a god carver is tasked with carving a new god. However, the god he carves clashes with his society's values; as a result, his people take his memories from him and banish him to the wild to start anew.

In the late 90s, a woman moves from New York to LA to teach part time at an art school. As she becomes disillusioned with the art world, she finds a dominant partner and turns to BDSM to ground herself in the empty landscape.

In the absence of his parents, a young boy reluctantly turns to his elderly maid for help when his piano teacher starts to make inappropriate advances on him.