May/June 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 3 Fiction |

Human Hearts

Mother has always called me weak. I am too soft-hearted, she says, to be a real kumiho. “You must take after your father in that way, Okja,” she says, teeth flashing with disdain when she sees me balk at an easy kill. She often says this—that I must take after our father in whatever way that she finds lacking in me. Mother often remarks on the differences between me and my twin sister, Mija. Mija’s eyes were a bright gold and her fur was russet, the color of fallen leaves in autumn, whereas mine is a dull, tawny brown. Even in human form, Mija was lovely, with large eyes and thick, glossy hair that streamed down her back when it was loose. Mija has been dead now for seven days. Mother was coming home with two ducks in her mouth for dinner when she found her, not far from the mouth of our den. “Why weren’t you watching for her?” she screamed at me. The mountains echoed with her reproach and the additional, unspoken question of why it was Mija who had succumbed to a sh

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Gina Chung is a Brooklyn-based Korean American writer and MFA fiction candidate at the New School. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Catapult, Gulf Coast, Pleiades, F(r)iction, Fugue, Wigleaf, Waxwing, Split Lip Magazine, Jellyfish Review, VIDA Review, and LIT Magazine, and her stories have been recognized by the Black Warrior Review Contest, the Los Angeles Review Literary Awards, the CRAFT Elements Contest, and the Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest, as well as being named Longform Fiction Pick of the Week. Find her at gina-chung.com.

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