Agnes and True2019-10-03T16:12:24-05:00

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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Mrs. Yablunsky

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 think was about somebody not getting a proper greeting on a night out at Moishes, or it might have been something about Louise not sending her regards to Myrna’s granddaughter after the girl broke her collarbone—the dinners were large. Fifteen people or more sitting around a long table with several panels and no room to get out once you were in without shuffling and having […]

February 24th, 2020|

The White Wolf

September 26th, 2018|

by Gary Thomson

When Vera Kincaid and her husband Wallace first saw the wolves, she wanted to paint them whereas he was eager to shoot them.

They followed the ridge line about a hundred metres back from the farm house, partially concealed by basswood trees that stood bare against the autumn light. Five of them, Vera counted. Russet and grey, walking in single line. The artist’s brush in Vera’s hand trembled like a dry leaf. Wallace held his axe at waist […]

Fort Mac

August 27th, 2018|

by Thomas Wharton

This was years before the fire they called the Beast burned up half the town and the money hose slowed from a gush to a trickle. Back then I drove one of those mammoth trucks that haul the raw ore out of the excavation pits. We were removing the forest in neat rectangular chunks, like date squares from a pan. Peeling away a soggy carpet of muskeg to scoop out what had been steeping here for a […]

Fresh Oil, Loose Stone

June 20th, 2018|

by Heather Rolland

The tar spreader lumbered up the hill, spraying a thin film of blackness on all in its path: road bed, weeds, and the occasional careless worker’s feet or Gatorade bottle. The dump truck’s gates clanged, followed by the shush of gravel, flowing like water out the back and onto the waiting tar. Raked and rolled and rolled again, inch by inch, mile by mile, the rutted old dirt road received its makeover. Julia watched from the picture […]

Thoughtful Murders

May 22nd, 2018|

by Jeannette Harvey

We are on a craggy bluff—two wind-blown women admiring the way the ocean boils and seethes on the rocks far below—when I take a quick step back to give Edna a shove over the precipice.

Sometimes I lurk in evening shadows across from her hairdressing salon. After she comes out and turns the key in the lock, I follow her into the thickening mist of the alley, take out the long-handled knife from beneath my […]

A Needle Pulling Thread

April 21st, 2018|

by J.R. Johnson

Luani scanned the new Symphony Hall with an appreciative eye. After five years of refurbishment, untold cost overruns, and the inevitable discussion of whether art was worth it (in such perilous times), the building was finally complete.

Golden Quebec beech panelling angled through the hall to maximize acoustic reflection; high balcony walls curved like the sides of a ship; and the organ’s massive pipes glittered at the bow of the room. The organist perched in […]

Lost Boy

March 26th, 2018|

by Angie Ellis

She notices everything—the dimples on his knuckles, a replaced button on his collared shirt, his blond lashes. He lifts his eyes to her briefly, then down to his bowl and back up again; his little fingers curl around the spoon and hold it for long moments before drawing it to his mouth.

She reaches across the table and places her hand on his. He flinches but leaves it there. […]

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 […]

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