Fall 2013 • Vol. XXXV No. 4 FictionOctober 1, 2013 |

Blood Rules

O, Marvel! A garden amidst the flames. My heart has become capable of every form: it is a pasture for gazelles and a convent for Christian monks. A temple for idols and the pilgrim's Ka'bah. And the tables of the Torah and the book of the Quran. I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love's camels take, that is my religion and my faith.                                     —Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi The sound of his hospital pager shaking his nightstand stirred him from sleep. He waited a few minutes before looking at the message. He had this uneasy feeling in his chest, as if the air were going in one direction, out of his lungs but not back in, no matter how many calm breaths he tried to take. He knew it was the anniversary reaction, disguised like a heart attack every year, but in those first few moments of waking up on September 11, it knocked the wind out of him every time. It had been ten years to the

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Jackie Gorman’s collection of stories, The Viewing Room, based on her hospital chaplaincy experiences, will be published this fall by University of Georgia Press as the winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her memoir, The Seeing Glass, was published in 1997 by Riverhead Books. She has an MFA in Fiction from Spalding University and lives in Los Angeles.

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