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Medium 9789810861131

Snakes and Dragons by Vittoria D’Alessio

Goodwin, Temari & Hoye (Editors) Monsoon Books ePub
"Snakes and Dragons" by Vittoria D’Alessio

A romance short story set in Singapore, first published in "Love and Lust in Singapore" (Monsoon Books, Singapore)

It’s a sweaty hike and the path is steep but the woman attempts it all the same, slogging up the hill with her child in tow. The boy drags on her arm, sobbing to be carried. Through his blond curls, his scalp glows pink.
‘I’m toy-errred,’ he wails. ‘I’m zorrr-sted.’
The woman responds soothingly, her voice floating up to the pool deck some fifty metres away, where Ambrose stands admiring her, beer in hand. She’s a lovely looking specimen. Great legs. Tanned but only lightly, and for this, he pays her regard: white expats in Singapore have this perverse habit of griddling their skin until it resembles barbecued pork. But this woman, she’s got class—she understands that less is more. Ambrose smiles. Yes, and look how well this maxim can be applied to what she’s wearing too. Just a bikini top and thigh-flashing denim shorts. And indeed why not? This is a private members’ club nestled discretely in the jungle—she’s free to wear what the hell she likes … See All Chapters
Medium 9780253012098


S. A. An-sky Indiana University Press ePub

A YESHIVA STUDENT, ONE of Mirkin’s synagogue pupils, entered the room; he looked askance at Geverman, handed Mirkin a note, whispered mysteriously, “From Hillel,” and then beat a hasty retreat.

The note consisted of only a few words: “Agreed. She’ll be where she’s supposed to be tomorrow after dinner. Take action.”

After reading the note, Mirkin described in detail to Geverman the plan for Beryasheva’s “betrothal.”

“Splendid!” Geverman blurted out, without even thinking. “That’s just the way to do it! I’ll take it upon myself to carry it out. I’ll get engaged to her.”

“What are you saying? Old man Beryashev knows you, and as soon as you enter his shop, he’ll guess that something’s amiss. . . . Esther Geverman’s son has suddenly come all by himself to buy himself a scarf or some socks. . . .”

“So let him guess! Before he manages to figure it out, I’ll get it all done.”

“No! And don’t insist! You’ll ruin the whole thing!” Mirkin declared. “If need be, you’ll help in some other way. . . . I’m going to the Ore Miklet now. This evening I’ll drop in on Kapluner. When you finish work, you come over there, too.”

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Medium 9781574415650

A Natural Progression of Things

Becky Adnot-Haynes University of North Texas Press PDF

A Natural Progression of Things


t’s hot. The afternoon is a blaze of sun and slick sweat, the kind Abbott can feel beading up his spine under his shirt as he stands at the edge of the alligator pond, flinging the last chicken sandwich into the water. As he releases it, he lifts his wrist slightly: a small flourish, like a basketball player who has just shot a three-pointer he knows he’s going to sink. Then

Abbott watches in satisfaction as one of the gators bursts forth from the water to chomp at the food, its jaws open and wide and beautiful in movement. Today there are three of them: long and thick-tailed, with skin that is cracked and gray. The two on the left bank are large, probably twelve-footers at least, the third a baby gator: smaller, quicker, ever so slightly less dusty-looking.

A mother and father and their kid, Abbott thinks. A little alligator family. He feels something like a measured affection for the gators. Once, visiting the pond mid-afternoon, he’d seen a couple of redneck kids creeping toward one of the gators with a stick, poking its scaled back, and he’d been glad, actually happy, when the gator made a sudden lunging movement that sent the two boys tripping and scurrying back up the hill.

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Medium 9789814625005


Stephen Leather Monsoon Books Pte. Ltd. ePub

Inspector Zhang looked out through the window at the fields far below. There was so much land, he thought, compared with his own Singapore. The near four million population of the island state was crowded into just 253 square miles and there was little in the way of green space. But Thailand had green in abundance, criss-crossed with roads and dotted with small farms, and in the distance, mountains shrouded in mist. He closed his book with a sigh. It would soon be time to land.“Are you okay, Inspector?” asked Sergeant Lee, removing her headphones. She was twenty-four years old, and was wearing her hair long for a change, probably because while they were on the plane they weren’t strictly speaking on duty even though they had been sent to Bangkok by the Singapore Police Force.“Of course,” said Inspector Zhang. “Why would I be otherwise?”“I don’t think you like flying,” she said. “You did not eat the meal, you have not availed yourself of the in-flight entertainment system, and you seem – distracted.”

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Medium 9780253329561

Chapter Thirteen

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

On the hovercraft instrument panel an amber light kept flashing. More data on the seatube rupture, Teeg guessed. But she dared not answer the call, for it might also be Transport Control, demanding to know why the crew still hadn’t left the hangar.

Come on, Phoenix. If he didn’t show up in about two shakes they would have to leave him behind. Could they smuggle him from the city later? That would be risky, might give the colony away. But waiting for another seatube emergency would be even more risky. Since losing their meeting place in the oil tank they had gone over a month without ingathering, and the forcefield of spirit that bound them together was weakening.

The thought of leaving Phoenix behind swung a weight in her heart.

“Any sign?” Marie asked from the cabin.

No, Teeg was going to answer, when she glimpsed Hinta jogging down the ramp from the sanitation port. Behind her loped a clown-painted figure in billowing gown. Tassels and sleeves fluttered about him as he ran, and the green tresses of his wig trailed behind like seaweed. Even through this bizarre get-up, Teeg recognized him by the way he bit down on his tongue and by the shape of his ears.

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Medium 9780253012098


S. A. An-sky Indiana University Press ePub

WITH MEEROVS UNEXPECTED departure, the debate came to an end. Only Mirkin and the gymnasium student in glasses sitting on the side continued their conversation in a whisper, comparing the talents of Dostoevsky and Mikhailov. After some hesitation, Mirkin observed in a low voice, “If you want to know the whole truth, I confess that I consider both Mikhailov and Dostoevsky immeasurably lower than Lilienblum or Peretz Smolenskin. . . . What’s to discuss? These two are giants! They’ve grasped the entire world, turned life itself upside down—while those other two? Even Mikhailov! There’s no comparison!”

“Hey, you!” Tsivershtein spoke up suddenly, still lying on the bed. “You’re still talking about Pisarev and Mikhailov—you have no idea about anything else. But if you could see the book I’ve just laid my hands on—you’d sing a different song!”

“What book is that?” the comrades grew interested.

“It’s the sort of book,” Tsivershtein began enigmatically, “that if you put all Russian literature on one side of the scale, including Pushkin, and Pisarev, and Mikhailov, and Dostoevsky—all of them—and this one book on the other side—it would outweigh them!”

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Medium 9781574413199

Jenny, with Bulldog

Geoff Schmidt University of North Texas Press PDF

Jenny, with Bulldog


n the end, Jenny Cantwell was left alone with a dog. He was a white bulldog, and a dwarf, the product of severe in-breeding.

She’d felt lonely one Sunday after dinner in Chase with her sons

Cooper and Hawthorne, and on the way home she’d seen a sign on the highway that said BULLDOGS FIVE MILES. At the five-mile mark, she saw a sign taped below a mailbox at the head of a long dirt driveway: BULLDOGS FOR CHEAP HERE.

She’d driven down the lane to a farmhouse, the yard littered with machinery she didn’t recognize, and she’d been a farmer’s wife for years. When she got out of the car she heard them snuffling and growling in a pen beside the kitchen door. A young woman who’d had the pretty beaten out of her by life had come out of the kitchen and shown her the dogs. Jenny picked the smallest one, thinking it a puppy. She paid fifty dollars. The lonely feeling passed almost as soon as she’d gotten back to her new duplex in

Centerville, and she never bothered naming the dog.

She could never get him clean. Some lingering infection the vet couldn’t cure prompted him to rub his rump feverishly on her new white walls, leaving distasteful discolorations low down on the wainscoting. Sometimes he would have seizures. He would be happy and panting and rubbing up against her walls and then something would click off in his head and he would freeze and stare at some fixed point in space with his head weaving slightly.

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Medium 9780253329561

Chapter Two

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

Unlikely as it seemed to Phoenix, Teeg did meet him at the gamepark. Afraid she might not recognize him in the crowd of merrymakers and chemmieguzzlers, he wore the same mask and costume as yesterday. He would have dangled a sign about his neck, if need be, to attract her attention. Who cared a fig about the stares? He stood on a bench to make himself a landmark, high above the passing wigs, and presently he spied her slipping toward him through the crush of people. Facepaint instead of mask, baggy robe kicking at her feet, hood tied crookedly about her head. Thrown-together look, as usual.

“So you came,” she announced, with what seemed like mild surprise. She drew him away from the racket of electronic warfare, past the simulators where people lined up to pretend they were piloting rockets or submarines, past the booths where ecstatic customers twitched upon eros couches.

“Zoo time,” Teeg muttered, leading him on. She said something else, too, but Phoenix could only make out her bitter tone and not the words, for two opponents were haranguing one another on a nearby shouting stage.

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Medium 9781771870948

Four Shirt Rant

Altrows, Rona Thistledown Press ePub


May 14


What does it feel like to wake up refreshed anyway? Can’t remember. Every day longer. It’s getting so I don’t want to deal with their problems. Every morning, a litany of crabbing: Lubov in the next room plays his radio too loud in the evening . . . Esther Spiller plays too many cards at once, she takes up too much space at the bingo table . . . I can’t take the perfume that Vincente woman wears; when we’re in the elevator together I think I’m going to gag.

People, people, can’t you try to help yourselves? Talk to Mr. Lubov and the others; tell them what you want them to change. The main thing is, Leave me alone.

Of course I keep those thoughts to myself. I do my rounds and make diplomatic overtures to Mr. Lubov and Mrs. Spiller. Problems solved. The perfume case is more delicate; I’m going to have to think of how to handle that one. Rita Vincente is attached to her Essence of Patchouli.

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Medium 9781574412710


Tim Johnston University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9780253008183

18 Twelve + Twelve

Jason L Brown Quarry Books ePub

Christine Sneed

SOMEONE IN THE ALLEY THREE STORIES below my window was calling out to someone else and what he was saying was not very nice. Maybe he did because we were all stuck in an ugly, listless March, ice visible everywhere and clinging to our lawns like a dense gray scum. We were exhausted and cynical under cloudy skies, our pants cuffs perpetually caked in grit and mud, our car tires spinning and spinning on snow-choked streets. No one I knew was outside digging up the flower beds, and certainly no one was in the mood to offer spare coins to strangers distractedly ransacking their pockets for change to feed the meters. Instead, people were talking heatedly into mobile phones or looking down at their feet as they trudged, these unloved husbands and crashdieters and stubborn musicians and disbarred lawyers who all huddled in on themselves because among their other hardships, winter hadn’t yet ended and at this near-unendurable point, they just couldn’t look each other in the face.

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Medium 9781574416237

Clarissa Drives John-Boy to the Jacksonville Airport

Matt Cashion University of North Texas Press ePub

Your whole damn family think I'm crazy because I can't stop talking, all the time saying I must have an affliction, but I say it's a blessing, like the way some people is born with the god-given talent to sing and all they can do is sing, and all they should do is sing because it hurts not to sing and if they stop singing they might die because they got so much stuff boiling up inside them it's got to come out all at once or they'll explode or either kill somebody, which is how I feel all the time, except I can't sing, damn it. I can't sing.

After I started taking your grandmama to church I went up to Father Ted one day and I said, “Father Ted? What do I need to do to convert?” You know what he said? He said, “Stop singing so loud.” He said the choir had complained that I was throwing them off and drowning them out. Your poor grandmama, I must've made her half-deaf singing in the pew next to her, but she never once said any mean thing to me about anything, except sometimes at home late in the afternoon when we'd be sitting around after our programs and I'd be talking and talking, she'd say, “Clarissa—it's time to say your Mary prayers.” Oh Jesus, I'm gonna miss that woman. You see what I did with the car keys? Okay. Alright. Here we go.

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Medium 9780253001801

Dead Silence

Robin Hemley Indiana University Press ePub

The Downey Perkins Show


May 22nd:
Downey sits in her Barcalounger, a bowl of popcorn beside her, with the TV tuned to the 1962 film My Geisha, starring Shirley MacLaine, though it's low, hardly audible. She flips the lever on her chair so that the attached footrest swings up and the back of the chair reclines. “I didn't sign up for this,” she says, her signature line, and her audience applauds warmly.

But she did. Her house is in a cul de sac, one of its best features, in a Talk Show subdivision built around the year 5 A.J.D. The talk show neighbors on her right, the Delarges, have had their final season after a disappointing stand in the ratings, and the house is for sale. On the left, The Simons Show isn't faring much better. The host and her guests hardly ever speak to one another and the band doesn't even strike up the theme music of The Simons Show anymore, it's so demoralized. Downey's own studio band is fronted by her husband, legendary sax man Serge Perkins, who plays with all the greats: Stan Getz, Robert Palmer, Tommy Dorsey, Martha and the Motels, Xavier Cugat, Van Morrison, the Boston Pops, Frédéric Chopin, and Bix Beiderbecke.

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Medium 9780861967254

Chapter 17

Tony Grey John Libbey Publishing ePub

The weather is clear and warm as the troops wind through the dense forest that hugs the lower slope. As they ascend, the trees grow at steeper and steeper angles, and conifers start to appear. It’s really a walk at first but after several hours it becomes a climb, though not requiring skill. The temperature is noticeably dropping. They’re coming close to the clouds which glide over the peaks in white and grey shapes, like ships. They tease the eye, covering everything then opening up patches of empyreal blue. A rainbow from a recent shower shines in the distance.

Little white flowers peek out of the underbrush. And large blossoms in clusters of brilliant reds, mauves and pinks on trees with twisted branches paint blocks of colour on the mountainside and in the valleys below. Monkeys sit in the taller trees and gossip about the strange intruders who have no right to come into their abode.

It’s a relief from the grimness of the steppe. Here everything has a green presence, green in all shades and textures, moist and luxuriant green. It’s hard; it’s soft, sometimes threatening in its impenetrable mass, other times seductive and mysterious. Like siblings, its forms compete with each other for attention. At altitude, dwarf bamboo plants in pale green appear and eventually give way to the darkness of conifers. Meadows like lawns are revealed without warning, so smooth they could have been scythed by human hand. Sometimes they surround tumbling streams which carve the host rock as if with a white knife and crash in misting cascades. Often they’re flat like balconies in the sky. On one of these the Romans spend their first night.

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Medium 9781942496656

Chapter 27

Charlotte Jones Solution Tree Press ePub

Shira drew a deep breath as the Iniskroun shackled her hands. It was all she could do to contain the excitement and relief flooding through her. She had seen a foggy wind, she was convinced of it. Conrad had realized something was wrong, since she was not responding to his letters. She was right to have put her faith in him. They were going to get her out. All she had to do was hold on. Suppressing a smile, she shifted on the stool to which she was chained. There was nothing Kaelo could do to hurt her now. Very soon, she would be safe and sound back in Sunburst.

From his throne, Kaelo watched his prisoner closely. Something had changed in her since the night before. The ghost of a smile hovered on her lips as she tried to straighten, tossing her head defiantly as she kept her stare straight ahead. Her eyes glowed with fierce determination.

Irritation pricked him; his relatives were growing impatient. Shining Shira was proving far more difficult than any of them had expected. He needed to break her, and soon. According to General Shevo, she had another day to live, maybe less, before the sunlight burned her through. Trying to overthrow his father and take control of Sunburst would be far simpler with the Eshan power than without it.

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