957 Chapters
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
Medium 9781574413199

Chapter Six

Geoff Schmidt University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9780253006837

11: Bashir Binladen

Abdourahman A. Waberi Indiana University Press ePub



THE FIRST HALF not over and already part of Scud and the president began negotiations. It's simple: three Scud chiefs left for the capital. They say contact was still prime minister, the one who gets off his horse just to pee. Bégé (that's his name for short like RPP—that the name of the one an only party—an like RFI, PSG,1 etc.), he from same region as three chiefs, their name still top military secret. But OK, I can give you a hint, one's called Kif-Kif something, all the same. That don't mean a thing to you, don't matter too-too much. The man not well-known like me Binladen that's all. The three chiefs, they gonna hug the old president. And him, he gonna give armchair, residence, vehicle, official position an all that. Business-there, it Scud number 1, you got it. TV, radio, Peace Day everywhere. Dances (funny to have war dances to celebrate peace, no?), khat, and speeches. Even Madame President she was dancing in front of crowd full of bodyguards. Nobody thought about us, out there on the mountain facing enemy. Luckily everybody has their Kalashnikov. But wait, there's old Kalash an modern Kalash, see. Old Kalash is AK-47, modern is AK-58, tricky cause it sprays quick-quick. If it falls down, it fires by itself. AK-47 it can fall, it can trample an all but it stay calm cause of safety lock. AK-58 safety lock so-so small, tiny, way it is, it's danger of death. There's also machine-gun, rocket launchers, mortars, ground-to-ground (all that too-too heavy to carry). Better not walk behind buddy with rocket launcher, danger of death too. OK, rebels always attack when they very-very hungry. They come out of the brush, hide next to tar road, wait for vehicles. Unity Road (that the main Djibouti-Tadjoura road also called Fahd bin Abdulaziz Road, that the name of Saudi prince who gifted the road) that max danger cause rebels they not only looking for food, they want khat too, that way they be brave to make ambush again. Us we wait for official order to clean up all that. Well, we gonna wait long-long time cause Scud 1 an President lovey-dovey now. They smooch like women or Soviet chiefs I saw on Samireh the shopkeeper's TV. Ah, politics too-too ugly. Shameful, for real. What the three Scud 1 chiefs like Kif-Kif (Kif-Kif, Habachi, that Ethiopian name or what?) gonna tell their bambinos (that correct Italian, right)? They gonna say hey we happy, we signed negotiations in Abaro, we made peace. The kids, they gonna say whew with their hands on their mouths. Big, big shame. Aïdid, he say politics too-too dumb even. I agree, politicians useless losers who don't know how to do anything, don't know how to be mechanic, cook, teacher, doctor. Don't even know how to stand guard. Hey, I hear a lot of metal noises. Time to eat. Hunger hasn't fled my body even if sleep left my eyes since I tasted the pink pills Aïdid has in his pocket. I wanna gobble something cause my belly's going grrr grrr.

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Medium 9780253223432

Chapter 20

Jim Cohee Indiana University Press ePub

Chapter 20

Praised be the fathomless universe! And praised be Mom!

We drove west to Terre Haute and shot across the Wabash River, the mighty Wabash, and the waters stood like a heap. We flew like a rocket ship across Illinois, picked up Highway 66—highway of Huckleberry Finn and Sal Paradise—and blazed like a meteor past fields of pale alfalfa, pale soybeans, past sun-skimmed pools of duckweed.

A breaking tidal air fell in the window and mussed my hair. I held tight to Pookie’s baton and looked straight out the passenger window. The wilderness of Shur shuddered there like blurred boxcars.

Purple mountain majesties rolled toward us like knots on a capstan. Anacondas burped in the Amazon. Stormy South Pacific seas lay becalmed today, and the horned beaks of albatrosses smiled at Tuamotu. Cloud shadows ran through clattering Kansas corn while, aloft in prairie skies, Bridey Murphy flew, her red Irish hair streaming in dusk light, her white underpants illuminating whole districts of agricultural endeavor and export and also industry. Bridey pulled Jim Corbett—dazed by American light and blinking with joy—pulled Jim Corbett west with her right hand. The jet stream splayed his feet.

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Medium 9781574413311


Peter Brown University of North Texas Press ePub

The Darkest Hole in the Globe

Our lives were similar in some ways. When Sunny was eighteen, the day she got accepted to Columbia University, her father, in the locker room of Precinct 120, put his service revolver in his mouth and removed the top of his head. She inherited the house in Staten Island, which she sold right away to pay for college. Her mother had died of cancer long before. Almost twenty years earlier, when I was eighteen, my first day at boot camp, my father died of a massive infarction during a Columbia Presbyterian MRI. I learned in a note from Mother how he had mastered his claustrophobia over and over through West Point, Guam, Korea, and Vietnam but the MRI proved too much. They gave me leave for his funeral, but I declined. After that, the heat of the barracks all but ruled out sleep or food for the next few weeks and when the weapons training finally began, I began to get too anxious and too eager. To cool me off, they put me in the kitchen a while: something I said to the range instructor, the way I handled my rifle, how they had to stop me. I don’t exactly remember what it was.

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Medium 9780253329561

Chapter Three

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

The only troublesome items Zuni had not allowed the surgeons to replace were her eyes. Both lungs, one kidney, various joints, even the valves of her heart, those she had been content to let go, for they did not seem to be intrinsic parts of her. Let the doctors fiddle with her ears or pancreas, she would not care. But if she ever gave up her eyes, the ones she had used to design the Enclosure, to memorize the contours of earth, to trace the shifting tones of daylight, she would no longer be Zuni Franklin. Would the surgeons consent to be fitted with new hands? They should have realized that an architect lives in her eyes.

So when the drugs no longer cleansed the blight from her retina, she had to put up with dimming vision. And when she announced her plans to retire from the Institute for Global Design at age seventy-six—nine years early—everyone assumed her balky eyesight was to blame.

“Are you afraid blindness would spoil your work at the Institute?” a video reporter asked her.

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Medium 9781574416473


Polly Buckingham University of North Texas Press ePub

I work in Compliance now. This week anyway. Last week I worked in Acquisitions. I worked the phones, but they sent me to Compliance when I said, “Hello, Acquee, Acquiescence.” I knew it was not acquiescence, but I was flustered. The guy on the other end of the line said, “Excuse me?” like he was insulted. I'm much happier in Compliance anyway. No phones. I'm a collator.

I'm sitting in a soft gray chair with wheels. On the table in front of me is a stack of white papers, each with a file tab at the top. The papers come in groups of five, the tabs in five different places from left to right. I also have a stack of stickers. The stickers fit neatly onto the tabs, A through J, which means two sets of tab sheets per folder. I'm collating folders for a merger. Mergers are dangerous things, messy and violent, and I'm not supposed to think about them. I'm not supposed to think about the red paint. The papers are white and crisp, and the rugs are gray, and the chair is gray, and the air is still and quiet.

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Medium 9780253002365

Chapter Twenty-Three

Gregory Schwipps Indiana University Press ePub

The corn out this way had grown even in the last week. Now it reached the hood of the truck, and the last time he’d come out here it was barely as high as the wheel wells. Corn lining the ditches on both sides of the road like armies of uniformed and muted soldiers. A breeze through the humid air would’ve been enough to move their leaves but there was none. The crop companies were adding more chemicals to the seed anymore, and corn was tougher as a result. Drought? Floods? The corn could withstand it all, they told you. But when everyone’s corn looked good the prices fell. Sometimes the prices went to hell no matter what the fields looked like. Last summer this road had been flanked by soybeans, and they’d turned out pretty decent. Every season you rotated the crop and waited to see what the world thought of your plans.

Frank drove between the fields of corn and thought about nothing but the fact that they aimed to take his land. He was aware of the corn, the road, and the big pothole coming up on the right the way a bear was conscious of its winter den after sleeping in it for months.

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Medium 9780253220042

1. Santa Claus in Baghdad

Elsa Marston Indiana University Press ePub



Amal listened gloomily to the little speech that Mr. Kareem had prepared. He spoke in a halting fashion, almost as though he were making an apology, but clearly he was as happy as a bird.

“And I know,” he concluded, “that my students will greet their new teacher with respect and helpfulness, and will show how well Mr. Kareem has taught them about our glorious literary heritage.” He laughed awkwardly at his little joke, and some of the girls responded with polite smiles.

A shy bachelor, Mr. Kareem inspired more respect than affection among his students. Many complained of his tough assignments and rigorous grading, although Amal thought he was quite fair. In any case, no one could deny that Mr. Kareem taught with competence and, in his stammering way, enthusiasm. He loved the works of the old poets and tried valiantly to convey to his students the richness of Arabic literature.

Another teacher leaving us, thought Amal. How many—four this fall?

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Medium 9780253016881

Howard Garfield, Balladeer

Edited by Michael Martone and Bryan Furu Break Away Book Club Edition ePub

Howard Garfield, Balladeer

My troubles began when I was ten and my parents spent the summer traveling, leaving me with my great-aunt in her decrepit gray Prairie School castle way out past the fairgrounds. This disconcertingly spry and moody octogenarian had a large collection of vinyl records, and out of desperate boredom one rainy afternoon, I took one at random, impaled it on the nub of her old Garrard SP25, and dropped the needle. A honeyed voice came pouring out of the speakers, crooning about a lumberjack drowned while freeing a logjam. It was Glenn Yarbrough, and I was lost.

It was music from a different era: the Weavers, the Limeliters, the New Lost City Ramblers, the New Christy Minstrels, the Brothers Four, the Stanley Brothers, the Carter Family, Richard Dyer Bennett, Eric von Schmidt, Dave Van Ronk, Buffy Sainte-Marie, the Kingston Trio, the Chad Mitchell Trio, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Blind Blake, Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Boy Fuller, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and many others. Probably she did not have all those records. It is partly my own present collection I must be thinking of.

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Medium 9781771870948


Altrows, Rona Thistledown Press ePub


Honeymoon Special

NOT MANY PEOPLE HAVE MY LUCK AT WORK. My work is a calling. Why else would I have stuck with it for over thirty years? It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. Every day is a journey when you’re selling lingerie, and the technical advances in my field are something else. Let’s say my customer is a small-chested woman who is self-conscious but doesn’t want to go the implant route. I can take that woman into my care and give her what she needs. I put her into one of those new gel-filled numbers and the cups fit gently around the breasts, taking on a natural shape. Meanwhile the temperature of the gel rises until it reaches the woman’s body temperature. And that’s that. No surgery, no leaking into the chest cavity, no scary side effects. Just a harmless trick that makes my customer happy.

No, the job is fine but I do want to change my digs. I’ve been in this apartment for five years now and still don’t feel attached to the place. That can’t be good for my mental health. Not that there is anything wrong with the location. Mission is a neat part of Calgary. I like being in the heart of the city, close to the Elbow River and those lovely bicycle paths. I get a lively walk to work along 17th Avenue, past the cafés and used book stores.

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Medium 9781574412994

Isabel and Jackson

Jane Roberts Wood University of North Texas Press PDF


Out the Summerhill Road

Isabel and Jackson

After Gaynor had driven her home, Isabel walked into her house and opened the refrigerator. When had she eaten?

She gazes at left-over chicken and a broccoli casserole, two over ripe tomatoes and a wilted head of lettuce. She takes a carton of strawberry yogurt from the freezer, dips out a spoonful, stares at it and throws the carton away. She takes a quick shower, slips into a gown and pours herself a glass of wine. Standing by the wine cabinet, she drinks the wine and splashes more into her glass. Then she opens the drawer in her bedside table and retrieves Mary Martha’s diary.

Sitting on the south terrace, Isabel holds the diary in her hands. After the long and sorrowful day, she feels numb, unable to mourn the death of Mary Martha, unable to find her way through a fog of memories.

When she finishes the wine, she will read the diary. Right now she’s all to pieces. Leaning back against the recliner, she gazes into the darkness. The moon is waning, but the stars are bright. She takes a deep breath and exhales, slowly counting the brightest stars of the Big Dipper.

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Medium 9780253223432

Chapter 13

Jim Cohee Indiana University Press ePub

Chapter 13

I ran the path around the swing set in the side yard. I’m on the putting green surrounded by a million people. The announcer has to whisper. I address the ball, but then back off. I’m not sure, because you have to take the slope into consideration. bonk! I bonk the ball. A cobra strikes at Margery at the edge of the green and everybody screams. Trusting in my manliness and strength of hand, I run over and grab the cobra by the head. The ball goes in the hole.

“First Kings eleven, God says, ‘Since you have not kept my covenant’ . . . Let’s think about that for a minute . . . ‘Since you have not . . . kept my covenant’ . . . and that’s the answer, isn’t it?”

I caught Dana’s glance. He gave me the Order of Rhinoceros sign and I gave it back. Mom looked down at me, combed my hair with her fingers, and looked back at Reverend Hampner.

“We live in contempt of God. Hmn? When you ask . . . Their worm shall not die, let me tell ya . . . If truth be known, Isaiah 66.”

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Medium 9781574414660

Fault Lines

Tehila Lieberman University of North Texas Press PDF

Fault Lines


he door to the orphanage is large and red, like a gash in the thick, gray stone wall. On a Sunday, four times a year, one of the nuns firmly takes her hand and walks her to the front door to greet her mother. These visits, she knows, are not for her. Even at six she knows this.

The door always opens like a portal to another world and her mother is suddenly standing there, frightening in her beauty, red hair blossoming in long, manic curls, only occasionally held in check by the random grasp of a jeweled hairpin, tears that come immediately and easily which she dabs with a lace handkerchief, her face turned to the side.

Then her mother bends down in her long sleek dress, or in her slender wool coat with its cuffs of ermine until her eyes meet Michaela’s. Her mother’s eyes always ask terrible questions—terrible because they beg not for truth but for the lie that will allow her to once again leave, that will tell her—yes, I am all right. I don’t need you. Go.

She doesn’t need a calendar to know the advent of her mother’s visit. The nuns grow tender, their hands brushing her hair more gently and with twice the strokes. Small treasures of gold-wrapped chocolate begin to appear under her pillow. Bits

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Medium 9781771870689

Toy Soldiers

McLellan, Don Thistledown Press ePub


THE BODY OF THE REBEL DARCY CORRIGAN had been dumped outside the armoury, a signature of the new provost. Keep it up, it said, you could be next. The provost prances through the village surrounded by a security detail, medals swinging from his lapels like a mighty pair of breasts.

The rebel leadership decided to hold the memorial service in a derelict farmhouse on Cobble Hill. Its tenants had been run off or jailed, the sheds torched. An ideal location, it was thought, for a safe house.

In the days leading up to the service rebels trickled in from every direction. A few — McCabe and Joyce — were grandfathers, men of strong views and loyal hearts. But most, like the deceased, were schoolboys. In another time and another place they might have passed an evening such as this one practising knots for a Scouts badge or corresponding with pen pals. Darcy had never kissed a girl.

His mother, an empty shell of a thing, keens behind a veil. She is accompanied by an elderly priest who has huffed and puffed his way to the summit, the reason for their tardiness.

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Medium 9780253018175

Fifty Ways of Looking at Tornadoes

B.J. Hollars Break Away Book Club Edition ePub


For nine months now, I have been trying to write my way out of disaster. I thought it would be easier than this. Yet no matter how many times I report on that April afternoon in Tuscaloosa—when my wife, dog, and I hid in our bathtub—still, the storm will not leave us.


Once I made them by hand. You can make one, too. Pour a teaspoon of salt into a cylindrical glass and spin the spoon clockwise. Or counterclockwise. It doesn’t matter.


I am not the first to have fashioned one. In 1955, New York University’s James E. Miller placed a pan of water in a circular box, positioning air slits on either side. The water was heated, emitting steam, and as additional air blew in, that steam grew into a cyclone.


Do not be fooled by the aforementioned examples of scientific ingenuity: humankind did not invent the tornado, nor has it improved upon the design.


Prior to creating them, we created warning systems against them. In October of 1883, Edward S. Holden issued a call for an “apparatus” that might provide towns a few minutes’ warning before a tornado’s impending touchdown. He suggested a highly elaborate network of bells, even created a prototype—a wired bell that rang upon exposure to a particular velocity of wind. Perhaps inspired by the recent invention of Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, Holden envisioned spools of underground wires connecting house to house and person to person, ensuring safety for all.

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