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The Mussel Eater

“The Mussel Eater” by Octavia Cade, in The Book Smugglers, November 2014.

The Pania is sitting in a rock pool, grooming. Karitoki can’t help but be fascinated – Pania usually stay in their packs, out beyond the harbour and away from town. Even living by the ocean as he does, he has never been so close to one before.


“I was curious,” she says, when he asks her. She has seen him eyeing her, seen him moving closer, and holds out one of her hands. It is stronger than his, and the nails are pointed. “Are you curious, too?”


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