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The Anatomist's Apprentice

By Matthew Claxton
12,647 words · 46-minute reading time
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The window was caked with soot, but unevenly. Molly knew all the cleanest panes, the places she could set her eyes and see something of the world outside the laboratory.

There was the top left edge, where the bent gutter caught most of the city grime and left a clean strip. Molly could see half a dozen tenement chimneys, which smoked faintly when the inhabitants could afford coal or sat cold when they could not. Once she had seen an owl fly over the rooftops. The poor creature must have wandered in from the farms beyond the city. It had been mobbed by a murder of crows, and Molly had seen spots of red on its fawn-colored wings.

Just off the center of the window, she could look into the window of an apartment across the street. Almost every day a girl, of maybe sixteen years, would lean out dangerously far and wave to someone in the street below. Then she turned and vanished with great speed. Molly had no idea if she was meeting friends, a suitor, or clients. She couldn't twist her...

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About the Author

A reporter from British Columbia, Matthew Claxton has firm opinions on dinosaurs, faster-than-light travel, and the Oxford comma.

See all stories by Matthew Claxton →