Half the Ghost

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Each week, we pick a short fiction piece from our Fairlight Shorts archives to feature as our story of the week. This week, we’ve chosen a story about identity by Anthony St. George.

After a fortunate education and career that has taken him to live and travel all over East, South, and Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, Anthony St. George has settled with his husband in San Francisco, where observations from daily urban and rural hikes often combine with his overseas experience and traces of his Ph.D. in Chinese and Korean Classical Literature to inspire his stories and artwork.

Anthony began dreaming of being an author in elementary school and continued writing throughout his professional career in academia, but he only began pursuing full-time writing and publication in 2021. He is querying a speculative fiction novel that depicts a turn of the 22nd century reconfiguration of North America and the globe through the eyes of three successive family members. His published speculative shorts (many of which depict the world of his novel), experimental and literary fiction pieces have appeared most recently in such publications as New MapsStreetcake magazine, and Ligeia magazine.

‘Half the Ghost’ follows a man returning to a significant place from his youth.

Enjoy!

 

Jacob knew that logic didn’t always rule the world; at least it didn’t use to. A decade before, as an undergraduate student on a year abroad in Taiwan, Jacob had encountered inexplicable, irrational magic. Now, as an analyst for a private equity firm immersed in a world of numbers and profit, that world seemed irretrievable.

While he had little power in his position, Jacob did manage to assert himself to get assigned to a business trip to Taiwan. He had convinced his boss, Buzz, that he could do better due diligence on a target acquisition because of his Mandarin skills and living experience in Taiwan.

‘Ok,’ Buzz had said, head shaking as if dismayed, ‘but if you make me look bad, you can forget having anything to do with Asia going ahead. I’ll never send you back again.’

As soon as Jacob stepped off the plane, he wondered if he should have lobbied so hard for this trip.

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