What Pegman Saw

Breach of Etiquette

The wife of Ambassador Kubisch led her guests into the foyer while the maid retrieved their coats. “I’m so glad you and the children could come tonight,” she told Mrs. Welch. “It doesn’t quite seem like Christmas without children.” Mrs. Welch gave an uneasy smile, pulled her daughter closer to her side. “Thanks for having

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The Devil You Don’t

Marisol carefully washed herself in the basin. She used the perfumed soap Olán had given her for her birthday. The lavender scent was strong, but did little to mask the  odor of the businessman’s cologne that seemed to hang about her room. She went to the dresser and counted the money for a third time.

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Criminals All

“Triangles is set up, Sire.” “Very good, Ben,” said the Colonel-General. He’d been wise to bring this boong with him, the most reliable of the lot. “You know, we’re expecting a new crop of convicts. The Sirius should be arriving any day now.” Ben stared at the floor. “Yes, Sire.” “And do you know why

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It Was Never Glorious

Some say it was glorious, that the Goryani were heroes welcome everywhere. This is nonsense. We were hunted like rats. You do not remember, but Bulgaria after the war was full of informers. This was not done out of love of the communists, nor even out of fear, but to settle old scores. The greatest

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Ditat Deus

“I believe there is truth in the saying it is an ill wind that bloweth no good,” said Maestre Rodrigues. He was garrulous for a sailing master, but Diogo Fernandes did not mind because Rodrigues seldom required an answer. Besides, he was right. The cyclone that had blown the Cirne off course had brought them here, wherever here

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Why We Live in Milo

I was born in Mingo County, near the town of Matewan. My family was all coal miners. After them Baldwin-Felts men killed Pa and Uncle Jess during the strike, Ma wanted to leave West Virginia. I talked her out of it on account of our family being five generations here.  In a new state we’d

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Casablanca

“Mr. Rains?” There was no answer. The assistant knocked again. “Mr. Rains? I have a message from Mr. Wallis.” “Read it to me,” said Rains from inside the dressing room. “It’s sealed, Mr. Rains. The message is for you. From Mr. Wallis.” “If Hal wants to give me a message he can come down and

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The Death of Colonel Nguyen

Civilians thought of Green Berets as Army Special Forces. It was more complicated than that. Our orders came from the Agency or the President. Our activities were top secret. Even General Westmoreland had no idea of what we did or who we were. And of course, we weren’t supposed to be in Cambodia at all.

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My Dinner With Andrei

I know you cannot speak. Trust me. This is for the best. Perhaps you have heard the stories. That I cut their tongues out and ate them, slit them like grain sacks and swallowed their innards like borscht. Or that I was in KGB and went about on the Moscow trains with the organs of

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El Murió En La Perla

Ramón held his glass aloft. “A toast,” he shouted over the din of the crowd. “To San Sebastián!” “And his perforated testicles!’ roared Philippe. They clicked glasses and drained the fiery rum in one swallow. “Another!” Ramón yelled to the barman. All around them the crowd surged shoulder to shoulder, filling the bar and spilling

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