Agnes and True2020-08-13T07:00:55-05:00

A Canadian Literary Journal

Agnes and True

Agnes and True: a Canadian online literary journal dedicated to providing a place for the work of Canadian writers, both established and emerging.

A Canadian Literary Journal

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The Leave

by Lisa Gregoire

“Twelve in the corner.” Lucy gestures with her cue.

“Uh-huh,” Henry nods. They just met.

She takes a wide berth around the pool table to claim territory. Henry steps back. Lucy bends and stretches to reach the cue ball. Even now, she still feels self-conscious standing on tip toes, ass in the air, midriff hanging slack like a bag of sand, the neck of her blouse opening to reveal her empty bra.

Folding over pool tables makes men feel like snipers and women feel like cats in heat— one deadly, one sexy, both ready. A certain woman could linger prone on the table like that to distract male opponents, but Lucy’s not that woman. In school, she got boys’ attention by pinching them and punching their shoulders, pretending to like their shitty music.

She stops to consider the angle on the twelve ball, but […]

September 8th, 2020|

The Grittiness of Mango Chiffon

August 9th, 2020|

by Mitchell Toews

Oh, those squinty little eyes. I’ll never forget the look of them. Like the night she found tobacco crumbs in my baseball jacket pocket. She spread the brown flakes out on a white napkin under our dining room table’s one-hundred-watt bulb.

“Arnold, I thought you told me you did not smoke?” she said. Her voice was calm, level as wet cement. The clock ticked on the mantle, sounding just as nervous as I was.

“Thought you were […]

Canada

July 7th, 2020|

by Melissa Hardy

Rosemary stood on the bluff gazing out over Lake Erie. It was eight in the morning on a day in late March; though technically a spring day, with temperatures hovering at six below, it didn’t feel that way. She tugged her toque down around her ears and wrapped her scarf more tightly around her neck. At least there was no wind. For the moment the lake stretched out before and below her, ice coloured and […]

Broadway Bridge

June 4th, 2020|

by Suzanne Johnston

“And you don’t know the half of it!” Derek shouted, efficiently ending our two-year relationship. Did he literally mean the three betrayals I knew about could be doubled, or even tripled? If that was the case, I didn’t want to know; and I wasn’t going to stick around to find out.

I signed up for three online dating sites the minute Derek carried his last glass dome of exotic-bird taxidermy out of my apartment. Screw watching […]

Disappearing

April 29th, 2020|

by Brian Moore

Gerri was about to bring the meeting to a close when the woman at the end of the room said, “I don’t think I can stand any more of this.”

Everyone froze.

The group sat on a ring of chairs around two long plywood tables that had been shoved together endways. The woman had fanned photographs of her daughter across one of the tables; she touched them with her fingertips, making tiny adjustments in their positions. […]

Broken Horses

March 30th, 2020|

by Sarah Hamill

It’s her I think of as I shovel horse shit.

My twin sister was big into horses. She wasn’t a horse girl like other horse girls—she didn’t ride. Parents couldn’t afford it. But she read those Heartland paperbacks until the books fell apart and measured everything in hands instead of feet.

When we were eleven, Dad found a pair of leather chaps for her at the thrift store up the road. They were worn down real […]

Mrs. Yablunsky

February 24th, 2020|

by Sarah Mintz

I sat between Mrs. Yablunsky and Mr. Marchand at my Aunt Louise’s house over Passover before the rift between Aunt Louise and Aunt Myrna. Ben and Myrna and their kids and Myrna’s mother Mrs. Yablunsky stopped coming or being invited for the high holidays; though Mr. Marchand still came, and I still sat next to him as he was an uncle or something from Louise’s daughter-in-law’s side of the family. Before the rift—which I […]

Still

January 27th, 2020|

by Alison Trottier

Black words on a white screen, black fissures in the ice, widening and cracking. I should have known, and now I know. I close the browser, then open it again, creeping back to the message like a skittish animal enticed by the possibility but afraid of the trap.

I set the trap myself. I took the test. I should have known she could be there waiting for me, but what were the chances? I had […]

Include the Plate

December 17th, 2019|

by Susan Olding

Miki is pouring rice from a bag into a measuring cup when the phone rings. Its electronic warble startles her. She slips, and translucent pellets of uncooked grain spill across the countertop. Never waste, her grandmother used to say. Okome is precious. She snatches a take-out menu from the shelf above the sink and uses it as a broom, sweeping the rice into a bowl—a task made troublesome by its near-invisibility against the smooth white surface of […]

Paint

November 6th, 2019|

by Virginia Boudreau

I locked myself in the powder room again, just couldn’t help it. Flipped the toilet seat down, and sat there. I squirted cream into my hands and rubbed them together, staring up at the ceiling, like always. The crown molding is so bright against the deep scarlet of the walls. I did all the painting myself. Chose the paint too, and still remember that day at the hardware store. That silly clerk with her clenched jaw. She had to mix […]

The Hardest Part

October 1st, 2019|

by Lori Hahnel

On an October afternoon—air clear as a bell, yellow leaves twirling down—I sipped coffee on my deck, soaked in the sun’s weak autumn rays. And got the news via Facebook.

Your sister Alma and I haven’t seen each other in almost forty years, though we “like” and “share” each other’s posts. “We are heartbroken to say,” she wrote, “that our dear brother Rob passed on Tuesday.”

Jesus. What? I took a breath before I read more, pulse pounding in […]

The Barnstone Station Wagons

September 3rd, 2019|

by Diane Lapeña

I ring Pulaski’s doorbell, and after a time he appears.

“There are complaints about your cars.” I tack on an apologetic tone. I’m not enjoying telling him there have been ugly comments. Three Buick Roadmasters have been sitting in his driveway, leaking oil, for the better part of five years. “Could you move them?”

A majority of hands at the Barnstone Neighbourhood Association meeting waved agreement to the motion that we would ask him to purge them from his […]

Kites

August 13th, 2019|

by Donna Tranquada

Adelaide sits behind a metal desk putting condoms in a large bowl. “Set aside a dozen or so for me,” I yell. Pete laughs. Adelaide shakes her head. Next to the bowl is a wooden penis for demonstrating how to put them on. As if we don’t know.

We’re in an old house on Gerrard street, that seedy stretch east of Jarvis. Pete and I are in the front room, sitting on folding chairs at a card table […]

Write me in

June 13th, 2019|

by Jane Parry

He didn’t normally do a stopover on this trip, he told her. His work brought him halfway round the world from Toronto to various parts of Asia a few times a year, and he’d always sat out his connections at Narita in the lounge. On the way in he was too preoccupied with the work ahead; and by the time he was on his way home the last thing he wanted was another day of packing, getting from […]

Werewolves

May 26th, 2019|

by Hege A. Jakobsen Lepri

There is no full moon. I look up anyway, though I tell myself I’ve stopped looking for explanations. It’s April, the bleakest of months. The empty promise of spring makes every day a disappointment. I’m cold—a heavy, damp cold forced on by a cloud cover so thick it would block out any effect of the moon even if it were full. Third time in three weeks I’ve been called here before four in the morning. […]

The Inventory

April 23rd, 2019|

by Jennifer Falkner

This room is as airless as all the others upstairs. The window is missing its screen but I yank it open anyway. There are no houses or strip malls outside, only trees and the absence of traffic noise. At least the evening air dilutes the smell. Earthy, almost fetid, reminding me of the white, pudding-like feces of my brother’s boa constrictor, his high school pet. I can hear Gabe moving around downstairs; he’s whistling and it reassures […]

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