Agnes and True2019-09-06T15:17:13-05:00

A Canadian Literary Journal

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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Kites

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 someone donated to YouthHelp. He’s shuffling a deck of cards and picking at a zit on his chin. The ashtray on the table is full of butts. The air is grey with our smoke.

“What are you doing?” I kick him under the table. “Rubbing the tits off the Queen again?” Pete grins. He knows I can’t stand it when he shuffles forever. I drum my […]

August 13th, 2019|

Coconut Oil

November 21st, 2017|

by Sonal Champsee

“Your Ammaji is coming tonight,” said Mom. “Your grandmother.” She’d been counting down the days for me.

I was excited because I’d learned all about grandmothers in school. We were doing a unit on family trees. I had a green, construction paper tree—the trunk split into two branches, and then each branch split into two more. Eight branches. In the middle, where everything came together, was me. I was happy there was no room for my brother Amit on this […]

Burning Rubber

September 11th, 2017|

by Jennifer Marr

“Well, aren’t you turning into a little lady.” The doctor glances at my chest, then makes note of something on his pad. He turns to my mother. “Have you given any further thought to sterilization?”

“My husband and I wonder if maybe we should hold off until she gets her first period? See how we handle it?”

“In my opinion, it’s easier to get it over with now.” The doctor grabs my legs and stretches them out like a […]

Twelve Days

August 7th, 2017|

by Karin Aurino

I have this perfect life—a perfect husband, three happy children, a beautiful home in the City of Angels—even the neighbours are nice. So why am I hiding in my bedroom? Because everything that was good, has somehow turned bad. So I’ll stay upstairs. Problem solved.

Downstairs, my husband will be drinking a glass of wine while making dinner. It’s his turn to cook and he’ll be half into that bottle already. He’ll pour me a glass of red […]

Mildred Mendelson

April 19th, 2017|

by Naomi Lakritz

“How are we doing today?”

I’m fine. However, I can’t answer for you. You’ll have to decide for yourself how you are. I’m no judge of that. What’s your name? I can’t read it. They make these name tags so tiny nowadays.”

“Kayleigh.”

“I cannot imagine a future populated by people named Kayleigh or Breanne or Jayden. Those are names for perpetual children. My name is Mildred Mendelson. […]

No Fairy-Tale Ending

March 9th, 2017|

by Hege Anita Jakobsen Lepri

The lights in the interrogation room had been dimmed, making the laminate table look almost like real wood. She wasn’t quite sure when that had happened. Probably they’d done it in tiny increments so she wouldn’t notice. They knew how to transform a situation here.

It was the good cop’s turn if her calculations were right. She was thirsty but hopeful that the detective would bring water, maybe even coffee. She didn’t need to […]

Angel Food & Rhinestones

February 8th, 2017|

by Carol Jones

The worst part of purging the contents of my parents’ house was that my parents weren’t dead. Gone but not yet dead, I repeated, forcing myself to tackle another box, another closet, another drawer.

My husband and I piled the things we wanted to keep in the living room, the things to sell in the family room, and the things to donate in the garage. Everything else would go in a dumpster after the yard […]

Birds of Paradise

October 31st, 2016|

by Lisa Morriss-Andrews

Mother calls out for my oldest sister, Miranda. Her voice bleats into the sterile silence like a lost child, startled from a nightmare. Death is a nightmare . . . for my mother. An extraordinary and unexpected event. “How terrible . . . how could this possibly happen!” she would exclaim, each time someone strayed from the fold of the living.

The living are in the fold outside of the hospital’s ICU right now. As they go about […]

Happily Ever After

October 2nd, 2016|

by Mary J. Breen

I can’t imagine how people can go on television and tell their stories to the whole blessed world. Like on Oprah, although she does seem like a nice person.

Today I watched a show called Abusive Husbands in the Military and The Wives Who Love Them. Couldn’t have been hard to find a couple of those. When it ended, I did something I should have done long ago: I took down the photo of Richard […]

Tromba

August 31st, 2016|

by Frederick Senese

In that country, they don’t bury the dead. They pile the bodies on a criss-cross platform of logs and sticks out in the forest, so the flies can eat. The life drips off the bones until what remains is pure, pristine, perfect. Bleached ribcages scoured by the wind, seashell skulls washed by the rain.

Every seven years the People wrap the bones in fresh linen and parade them through the village. In this way the dead can watch […]

Army of You

July 31st, 2016|

by Jason S. Ridler

Dave,

I’m dispensing with formalities because it is my last day. Please, read all of what’s below. Some of it is old hat. But the truth is in the details. I want you to know the truth. To help stem the tide of what you unleashed. I’m reminded of my grandfather’s favourite saying, said every morning before he hunted for Soviet incursions with the Rangers, instant coffee in hand, not a wisp of steam. “Yesterday is ashes; […]

The Witches on Floor Fifteen

May 31st, 2016|

by Brian Rowe

The little witch sucks on a lollipop, her lips and chin covered in a pumpkin shade of orange, as she peers inside the hospital room. A tall black hat covers her hair, and her brown silk dress has a large vampire cape that stretches down to her shoes. She holds a small bucket shaped like candy corn.I wave to her from the dark, gloomy corner; and she waves back. Her upbeat smile gives this room a needed […]

Freedom’s Just Another Word

April 5th, 2016|

Jamie enters the glass-panelled Sanctuary, interspersed with shades of green; the door whisks closed behind her as she balances her matcha tea. She digs out keys for the simian rooms. Fleur watches as Jamie enters, but stays on her perch as the windows slide back. The chimp doesn’t take the offered apple.

Wormwood and Strawberries

January 18th, 2016|

By Susan Hroncek They said the old woman ate children, but I never believed it. Children disappeared; it’s just something that happened. Some wandered too close to the steel mills or the lake. Others were snatched from the park or on the way home from school. And some simply ran away. Anything to escape the taunting, the fists, the pollution that painted the sky orange and coated our world in coal-black dust.

Bloom

November 23rd, 2015|

by Brent van Staalduinen Every time I see you in the spring, your hands are dark with the expensive soil you till into those waiting flower beds. It comes in big yellow bags and never sits for long—within days the shovel and wheelbarrow are out for your annual spring performance, you the director, your husband the reluctant player. But today, it’s just you. The hem of the black dress you wore to the service is hiked up, and your knees are as muddy as your hands.

The Red Kite

July 14th, 2015|

by Paula Dunning Rachel is driving the riding mower back and forth across the lawn, the first mowing of the season. It’s springtime-cool—she’s wearing a light jacket, and a bright red scarf holds back her greying curls—but the midday sun is warm on her back. As she backs up to manoeuver around the hawthorn bush, she glances across the expanse of green to the house, where the rose bushes beside the deck are just putting out leaves. When she and Tom moved onto this farm forty years ago, a small yard surrounded the house. Back then, she pushed an old mower that spewed out black smoke while the kids piled up the clippings to make hay for toy cows.

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