Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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Preface

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pp. vii-xiv

Death Sentences is a short story collection from Montreal writer Suzanne Myre comprising thirteen stories that explore the full gamut of death—ranging from accident and natural causes to murder, suicide, and felicide. It explores death not only in the literal sense, but in the metaphorical...

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Vile City

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pp. 1-8

Baldwin Park. Ten tai-chi amateurs form a pretty, moving mosaic under the hundred-year-old trees. They move in unison, without a sound, scarcely disturbing the grass as they shift their feet, clad in Chinese slippers. Contemplating them provides pure, though slightly soporific, rapture. It’s quite...

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The Birthday Gift

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pp. 9-12

I want to leave everything clean and tidy behind me. The last impression is important. When they arrive, I don’t want them to think I didn’t know how to keep house. I just hope I don’t have time to start to smell. I’m going to take a bath and slip into my pink and red dress, the one I’d like to be displayed...

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Missing Hug

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pp. 13-28

We had gym class yesterday. I hate gym class. I’m always afraid of taking a ball to the stomach or falling off the balance beam and cracking my head open on the way down. That happened to Morgane last year. After the accident, which was the talk of the school for months, she wore her...

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Cell Phones in the Air

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pp. 29-34

I’m dead from a head-on collision. Bike to bike, face to face, handlebar to handlebar. This sort of accident is extremely rare, it’ll probably earn me a short column under the “news in brief” section of the newspaper, something like, “Cyclist Impaled by...

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Bitter Ashes

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pp. 35-42

I barely have time to sit one cheek in my chair and assess the taste of my coffee before the phone rings. My colleague graces me with an irritated glance; the ring prevented her from hearing the winning lottery number. She turns up the volume on the radio. I press the receiver tightly against my...

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Don’t Fall Asleep!

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pp. 43-50

The day she was born, Sophie could already make people laugh. The second following her ejection from the maternal cocoon, she broke a small wind that was as powerful as an outboard motor. The staff in the delivery room laughed until they couldn’t breathe. Never had they witnessed such an...

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Felix and the Cat

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pp. 51-60

At the corner of the sloping alley, so lush with flowers you’d think you were in the countryside, two large recycling bins shelter a cat. A distracted passer-by might think that the cat was sleeping curled up against the fence, but no cat sleeps twisted into such a grotesque position unless it has four dislocated...

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He Loves Her So Much

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pp. 61-66

I’m crazy about her. Ever since I met her, every second that goes by that I’m unable to inhale her scent is a second lost, a time-space where I survive, waiting to regain my substance, my human form. Next to her I become whole again, I lose all my...

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Spot of Salvation

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pp. 67-76

“Ladies, I know where your G-spot is hiding. Gilbert.” This line, which stands out from the others in the “Personal Growth” column, catches Léa’s eye. The bold characters, all in capitals and underlined, are hard to miss. This guy hadn’t skimped on anything to attract attention; he’s...

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In the Box

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pp. 77-84

You . . .
So tiny, as we are when we’re six years old, you know, more bone than flesh, you go unnoticed in your blue dress, a Sunday schoolgirl dress, nicely ironed, not a single wrinkle in sight. The scent of flowers is overwhelming; it clogs every pore of your skin, you can taste them on your tongue, the...

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Death of a Guard Dog

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pp. 85-90

Tristan and Bérénice. Two children of modern times, adorned with brilliant names that reveal a parental concern to crown them at birth. Pretty names for lovely six-year-old children like the others, the exception being that these two would go to private school and be deprived of...

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Marie, to Death

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pp. 91-98

This is the fourth Sunday in a row that I’ve schemed to wangle my way out of the nine o’clock torture session. Mom is starting to get the hint. Ever since I discovered the perfect anti-mass look, she doesn’t even try to drag me there by force anymore, the way she used to when I was younger, four...

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Mona’s Retreat

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pp. 99-123

I had become a fan of Dr. Phil, I confess (but only under torture). I loved to curl up into a ball with Snuggles in front of the TV every evening from five to six for my favourite show. Snuggles didn’t judge me, whether I was watching a science show or some piece of crap. We purred and watched...

About the Series, Other Works in the Series

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pp. 124-124