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The Lying Game

By Marisca Pichette

We all believed

that they were one.

We took one claw in every

paw and swore

we’d made a whole.

Seams slanted,

cracks deep—the riven gullies

between selves.

But standing there, under

stitched-apart skin,

what was before so clearly

a horde

appeared a motley whole.

The base was flawed beneath them,

yet they stretched out over top—

plugging uneven, cut-back cracks

with blousy, wrinkled want.

They came together to our world

and played their hungry game;

filling emptiness with breath

and disregarding—as they went—

the crumbling of their mask.

So careful in their illusion

we never noticed:

Chips of figure, falling to.

The lying dust was piled up

and soon bared us teeth

slavering just what it was

that slipped beneath the sheets—

professed it was a single thing

when it was them

and there was more between

than ever touched

and seen.


Marisca Pichette assembles unnatural creatures in the darkness. More of her work appears in Strange Horizons, Fireside Magazine, Coffin Bell, Vastarien, and Plenitude Magazine, among others. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.


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