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Excerpt

Night engulfed the veranda. There was a wisp of wind in the fir trees, an odour of spruce needles. From the north, fog shifted into the marsh where a myriad of musical pitches shrilled a froggy lullaby. In the glow from the lamp, two spiders hung suspended in their web between the rungs of the banister. Will wondered about their breathing apparatus. He had read, somewhere, about pulmonary sacs. He watched as the spiders began to attack, coming together and apart, back and forth and hostile, rhythmically aggressive with lust. Charge and retreat — each to its own side of the web — another coupling, a three-minute battle until, victorious and stilled, the spiders calmed.

—From A Marginally Noted Man, by Anne Shmelzer

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