Agnes and True2021-11-16T11:04:54-05:00

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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Clock

by William Wren

He wondered if he had ever been happy. As the morning sun washed over the wooden deck, and over him as well, he thought he must have been, though he couldn’t recall when.

It was not that he was unhappy. He didn’t feel that. Apathetic is how he felt. However, Bronson also felt grumpy. He wondered if that was unhappy in a mild form.

He was sure it was the clock that made him that way. Ever since he had bought it, it had stubbornly read 12:23. He had picked it up at one of the big box stores.

It was an old-fashioned clock with Roman numerals, evenly spaced around its circumference. Two arms, like spears, reached out from the centre—the shorter spear indicating the hour, twelve, and the longer indicating the minutes, twenty-three. It was made to resemble something antique, yet its […]

January 18th, 2022|

Doctor Knows Best

December 15th, 2021|

by Renee Lehnen

The fluorescent lights in Dr. Katherine Southey’s examination room illuminated difficult truths. Their glare lit the sallow skin of the bottle-a-day wine bibber who purported to enjoy a glass or two on social occasions, the amber stained fingernails of the only-with-morning-coffee smoker, the bruises of a child who’d “fallen” onto a fist. Secrets tumbled into the antiseptic-infused air of the windowless room as matters of routine. A few years ago, Gordon Bigelow would’ve been fascinated […]

Lift a Finger

November 16th, 2021|

by Debra Martens

In her room in the retirement home, Helen is catching up with her three visitors. During a pause in the conversation, her youngest daughter, Sarah, puts a hand on the mattress and leans forward. “Did you get out of bed today?”

Helen picks up the knitting that is lying on the ruin of her stomach and hands it to Margaret. Her second youngest opens a drawer in the chest holding all that she has left, and […]

Daughtering Is Not a Word

June 25th, 2021|

by Gargi Mehra

It wasn’t the blueness of the package that Nidhi found objectionable, but the insinuation that came wrapped in it.

Her mother knelt on the floor—suitcases splayed out on the carpet, their innards spewing out—while Nidhi stood by, her regret at throwing on a frumpy old nightgown swelling by the minute.

Even a twenty-hour flight had done little to ruffle Mummy’s outfit and hair. She wore black slim-fit jeans and a sky-blue shirt, her hair ramrod-straight. Nidhi envied […]

Eggsistential Crisis

March 9th, 2021|

by John Van Rys

Evan Mulder’s eggs were piling up. The small fridge on the porch was crammed with cartons stacked in a precise grid of rows and columns, like one of his spreadsheets. The kitchen fridge was stuffed with the overflow, to the annoyance of his wife Mae. And bowls of eggs were arranged around the family room (somewhat decoratively, Evan suggested to Mae) waiting to be cleaned and deposited in cartons. That is, if he could […]

What Debbie Wants

February 10th, 2021|

by David Holloway

Debbie stepped into the elevator and saw the new resident, Max, leaning down and whispering in my ear. She grabbed him by the shoulder and pushed until he stumbled out into the hallway.

“Sharon doesn’t want you hanging around her!” she shouted in her warbling girlish voice.

“What in the hell are you doing?” I said as the doors crept closed. The elevators moved as slowly as the residents in Denver Golden Acres.

Nobody here is in a […]

Small Change

January 22nd, 2021|

by Alexina Dalgetty

Sharon Tavares glimpsed her reflection in the liquor store window. Not bad for fifty something. Her stretchy jeans and red leatherette jacket blossomed with stylish zing and the knock-off Sketchers, fifteen bucks on sale at Walmart, were comfortable. She smiled at her fortunately proportioned face—well-boned nose, exceptional puppy-dog brown eyes, and a mouth that piqued fantasy in at least one man a day—and figured today was going to be okay.

The air smelled raw with an […]

Housing Crisis

November 9th, 2020|

by Jann Everard

Amy’s second reaction was to step to the left so that she couldn’t be seen through the kitchen window. Her third reaction was to swipe and tap on her phone until she heard it dialing Julie. The ringing stopped.

“You know it’s five-thirty in the morning, right?”

“There’s a man in my treehouse,” Amy whispered.

Julie’s laugh fluttered down the line. “Well, I haven’t heard that one before, but good for you!”

“No, seriously. Maybe I didn’t tell you […]

Moonlight with Tom Thomson

October 9th, 2020|

by Sharon Frayne

Tom Thomson winked as Marla tucked a daisy into the open paint-box on his lap. She did a double-take and stepped back. There was a discordant crash behind them; she flinched and looked over her shoulder. Her family was banging on the rainbow-painted piano in the middle of the patio outside the Civic Centre in Huntsville.

“Ma, come on, let’s go . . . we’re bored,” her son said. He waved at the colourful mural covering […]

The Leave

September 8th, 2020|

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 […]

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 […]

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