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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That Woman I Know
by Imola Zsitva
I saw her every morning at eight fifteen on the corner of Avenue de L’Épée and Fairmount. First to emerge from the electric car were the black, high-heeled boots and blue skinny jeans, followed by the green wool coat. It didn’t look warm, but it wrapped around her figure in sheer elegance. Like a movie star who always looks immaculate, even when she pops out for groceries. Her hair was blonde (as you would expect) curled into sleek, loose waves that appeared purposely messy, but in a stylish way—the epitome of sprezzatura, concealing any deliberate effort. She could have been a model, this human Barbie.
Her every move demanded attention; I watched her help her son and daughter out of the car, collect their backpacks as they strode towards school, smiling. “Bonjour.” She greeted parents who reciprocated the gesture with matching enthusiasm […]
Daughtering Is Not a Word
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 […]
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
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 […]
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 […]
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
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 […]
“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
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 […]
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 […]
“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 […]
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.”
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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
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 […]