741 Chapters
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Medium 9780253010247

Chapter 21

Jesse Lee Kercheval Indiana University Press ePub

The police made it clear they expected me to leave Paris at the soonest possible opportunity. I would be sent a bill for the damages to the church. They would have liked me out on the very next flight, but I’d had enough of last-minute flying and I wasn’t ready to leave, not until I’d buried my brother. So they released me into Nance Olmstead’s custody, warning her to keep me in the strictest charge. I was to stay out of churches, and also, they said, under no circumstances was I allowed to ascend the Eiffel Tower. I could see that last bit got her worried.

I wanted her to go back to the Hôtel Batignolles, to trust me to meet her there later, but she took the police warning seriously. So she went with me to the Hôpital St-Louis. We entered through the door I’d seen the orderly use with Ilya, but once inside there was no desk guarded by nurses, no signs pointing this way to Emergency, just a long white hall punctuated at intervals by empty wooden benches and by tall doors, most closed. “French hospitals are always like this,” Nance said. Clearly, it was not her first time in one. I remembered what she’d told me back at the Hôtel Batignolles about flying to France to rescue students. “To us, St-Louis looks like an octopus that’s all arms and no head. The French don’t need registration desks manned by clerks whose job it is to collect insurance information. They don’t have to worry about getting stiffed for the bill.” she went on. “But there’s always someone around who knows what you need to know. Shall I ask?” I nodded, thinking better a reassuring matron in soft pastels than someone clearly a lot less stable, possibly crazy.

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Medium 9780253008183

8 Starry Night

Jason L Brown Quarry Books ePub

Lania Knight

JAMES IS WAITING ON THE GRAVEL BAR throwing stones, and I’m face down, floating on the top of the water looking for crawdads. I can feel every rock slap the surface. I’m watching them fall to the creek bottom. But I pull my face out when I see James’ two white feet beneath me. He manages to shove me under anyway. He’s the only cousin I ever get to spend time with. And he sucks.

I’m sorry, he says. Okay?

No! I scream it at him. Asshole! Ein Sheisskopf!

Where’d you learn that word, he wants to know.

As if I’d be stupid enough to admit that I know some German. That I’ve been studying online while he’s been busy living in Göettingen on his dad’s chemistry fellowship.

Everyone knows that, I say.

He squints at me. Can I borrow those?

I tell him no but then I hand him the goggles anyway. He puts them on and goes underwater but doesn’t stay long. After accusing me of having a watermelon head, he has the nerve to ask if I’ll adjust them. I take them and pull the stretchy rubber strap, trying to think of some way to extract payment from him.

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Medium 9780253019028

To Be Where We Are

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

JUST A FEW weeks ago I was thinking about the first time I read an issue of Transition.

A sepia-toned memory began to play in my mind: I have been at Bates College for only a week or so, and the school still seems so foreign to me that I sometimes wonder how I will escape if, no, when the urge strikes. I’m walking out of my first class of the day when my English professor hands me a magazine. “Read this,” she says.

I am actually a senior at Morehouse College. I’ve just returned from a summer working in DC, but I don’t have enough money to continue my education. I am effectively homeless, but my best friend has offered me a place on his couch. On my first night there, I notice a magazine on the floor. I pick it up, begin to read.

No, I’m a second year graduate student at Oxford, and I have fallen in love with literature. Or, more accurately, I have finally admitted to myself that I have always been in love with literature. I’m playing around on the internet one afternoon when I come across the archives of a magazine called Transition. I’ve never heard of it before. I click on a link.

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Medium 9781574412994

The Bridge Club

Jane Roberts Wood University of North Texas Press PDF

22�

Out the Summerhill Road

The Bridge Club

Like the swampy estuaries of Red River, rumors encircle the town and then the very word—Jackson Jackson Jackson— rises above the willows and swamp magnolias and bois d’ arc trees along Red River, to threaten the peace-loving citizens of the town of Cold Springs. When the body of a woman who had been shot and dumped into Red River was found miles downstream last year, “You suppose that Morris boy . . . ,” Mr.

Olson said to the men unloading A-grade pine at his lumberyard. Leaving the thought unfinished he lit a cigar, blew out the match and put it in his pocket. “I knew Jackson Morris.

Knew him too well! When he was in high school, that kid almost burned up my lumberyard.”

And when a widow living on a farm fourteen miles outside town was found shot to death in the living room of her farmhouse two years ago, “You reckon that Jackson Morris had something to do with it?” Miss Oates, the Cold Springs librarian, asked.

“Well, he could have,” her assistant, a high school senior, replied and added, “My mother said that if Jackson wasn’t guilty, he wouldn’t have run away four days before he was supposed to graduate.”

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Medium 9780253002365

Chapter Six

Gregory Schwipps Indiana University Press ePub

Now what do ya think of that folks?” Jerry Sallus yelled through the PA system, addressing the grandstand crowd. “He calls the car Every Mudder’s Nightmare’ and comes from Logjam! Name of Trent Smalls. And folks? The boy is only seventeen!”

Ollie watched as the tractor pulled the wrecked cars out of the ring. The station wagon that’d done so much damage to the Impala had won the heat, and now to find out the driver was some punk kid from their town? Some kid half their age, almost like a version of themselves before they grew up? Coondog would be hot. The lights overhead burned, illuminating the busted cars in the ring. The open mouth of the grandstand looked dark, but Ollie knew it was chock-full.

The volunteer fireman driving the tractor left Coondog for last. When they finally looped the chain around the Impala’s bumper and pulled it back into the ring, Coondog came squeezing out of the window of the welded-shut door, orange helmet leading the way. Even from where he stood, Ollie could see it was the wrong thing to do. The firemen yelled at him and told him to stay the hell in his damn car.

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Medium 9780253002365

Chapter Eighteen

Gregory Schwipps Indiana University Press ePub

A year or even a month ago, he would’ve been worried sick about his truck. The dents would rust where the paint was broken and he hated driving a banged-up vehicle. But instead Ollie spent the week planning their first real date. He’d called Summer and set it up for tonight, and if she’d been too upset about the deer, he couldn’t tell it. She promised to take the little kid to her mother’s house and leave her overnight so it’d be just them. All week at work he thought about the date and also what it might be like to slide those blue shorts down over her hips. There were red warning stickers on all of the dangerous equipment at work, and someone should’ve slapped one on his forehead.

They’d built a new movie theater over in Green City. The Shipley Current ran a photo of the building under construction. He only happened to see it because Doug Sellers left the newspaper in the toilet stall at the sawmill. He hated like hell to drive an hour each way to Green City, but seeing a movie was a real date and that’s what she deserved. They’d be on the highway most of the way, but if they got stuck behind some farm equipment being moved from field to field it might add another twenty minutes. And last but not least, he wasn’t going to pay about fifteen bucks to see a movie with a bunch of cartoons running around. He wanted something with people shooting stuff in it—maybe some nudity if he could get it. He intended to pick her up, drive to Green City, check out the movie times, and eat at Pizza Hut.

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Medium 9780253002365

Chapter Thirty-Two

Gregory Schwipps Indiana University Press ePub

After sleeping in his truck bed again, homeless man style, Ollie woke feeling blue and mean. It’d gotten hot early, the sun waking him by cooking his brain in its pan. When he jerked the damp sleeping bag away, flies buzzed his almost naked body. He lay there staring at the rusted walls of his pickup. The phone call replayed itself in his mind, but now it felt like he resided in some other country altogether removed from her world. Last night, he’d thought he could go back, but this morning stale beer was pulsing out through his pores and he didn’t think he could serve anyone but himself.

He didn’t know if he should push on toward South Carolina or not.

Last night he was certain he’d get up, eat breakfast somewhere, and spin the wheels until he pulled into her driveway. As he passed out in his makeshift bed he imagined hugging Summer and swinging her around before asking her to marry him. Then he’d lift Spring above his head and hug her too. She’d giggle wildly and Summer would stand off to the side crying happy tears.

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Medium 9781574412994

Tribal Knowledge

Jane Roberts Wood University of North Texas Press PDF

Part 5: 1980 • A Jury of Her Friends�

Tribal Knowledge

The women withdraw. From raw grief. From roller coaster emotions. From discussions that lead nowhere. They withdraw from each other. Clovis’s lawyer is on vacation and her real estate agent has not been interested in working up an appraisal. July will soon be over, but now, Cold Springs is somnambulant with leaden skies and threatening clouds fueled by dry lightning and rolling thunder. But the rain doesn’t come. By mid-morning the humidity has vanished, and the sun blazes down like a hot iron scorching everything in its path.

Sarah, idly running water over an apparently dead hollyhock bush, has planted herself in her garden, but without purpose. Each week she waters longer and more often, but still the leaves shrivel, turn brittle and fall. In late July, all a gardener can do is wait. Looking up at a sky streaked here and there by thin cirrus clouds, she turns the hydrant off and recoils the hose. Unless it rains, she is bound to lose some of her most fragile plants, especially the ferns. And with the temperature over a hundred, even a hard rain may come too late.

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Medium 9780253002365

Chapter Thirty-Six

Gregory Schwipps Indiana University Press ePub

In his dream suddenly there came a knocking. He was on the ocean, in this big-ass cruise ship, one with as much going on inside as outside, and then something was knocking on it. He was on the boat with Spring, of all things and people. Not Summer. He hadn’t seen Summer anywhere on this vessel, although downstairs he’d found a working sawmill. While he and Spring were playing tennis on the top deck, surrounded by nothing but deep blue water, Ray had walked up to them, still covered in sawdust, and said Ollie needed to get back to work. Ollie had yelled at him, said he wasn’t ready to stop playing tennis yet. Which was odd, since he’d never played. He’d been riding the dream along, waiting to see what he and his little friend would discover next, when something started knocking on the ship, like they were running aground. Spring dropped her racquet and started to cry.

He was so tired it took a long time to come back from the dream. As he did, he realized with a jolt he was in the trailer. But it was still halfway dark. He remembered he had to get up for work, since it was Monday. But not even this early. The knocking! What the hell? Someone was at his door! He wasn’t on a big ocean liner at all—he was asleep alone in his trailer and now someone was knocking on his door at 5:37 a.m. And then he remembered Todd’s house and he jerked on a pair of jeans and felt under his bed for the baseball bat.

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Medium 9780253002365

Chapter Seven

Gregory Schwipps Indiana University Press ePub

Frank woke up and noticed the breeze lightly blowing the faded curtain that hung over the window by their bed. Ethel had sewn the curtains herself, and now the white fabric with its flowered border rose into the room and billowed up before being sucked back against the screen. He watched it do this for some time. It followed the same path but it didn’t. Not an exact pattern he could predict, anyway, lying on his back this Sunday morning in their bed where he’d slept regular nightly hours for the last forty-five years. The window frame had been painted white, but it was chipped in places where he’d hit it with his cane coming around the bed. Dead flies and other insects collected in the corner of the windowsill. The wind blew the curtain in, where it hung in the air for just a moment, before the undercurrent pulled it back to the window frame. Then the breeze would lift the curtain again with almost, but not quite, the same motions. He watched it and thought about how the river breathed the same rhythms.

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Medium 9781574416473

The Grandmother's Vision

Polly Buckingham University of North Texas Press ePub

The grandmother, Carolina, had gathered all the family members who were still alive and not incarcerated to the lake to scatter her youngest son's ashes. One-armed Billy, Charlotte, and Duke with his metal canes were the only three of the seven who fit the bill, except for Jordan, who even Carolina knew better than to ever allow on the family property again—if he wasn't currently incarcerated, no doubt he should be. A half-dozen or more grandchildren, most of whom she couldn't identify, played around the campfire in true Stevenson fashion: inventive in their insults, smells like a cat crawled up your butthole and died; sulking around hitting things, including each other, with sticks; crawling into cars and trucks and onto motorcycles trying to start them with paperclips and coat hangers as if by some magic beyond their understanding, anything to hear a motor, to be in control of all that noise and speed. What was there to keep track of? They were all the same as the generation before, lanky anxious boys and slutty pimply girls who would turn into overweight, angry women.

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Medium 9780253223432

Chapter 6

Jim Cohee Indiana University Press ePub

Chapter 6

Dana said when you die you are dead for all eternity. How long is eternity? Dana said if the outermost tip of the primary feather of a little baby bird just barely touches an iron ball the size of the moon once every four hundred and seventeen years, when the ball is pulverized, eternity hasn’t even started.

When you die you smell like poop, he says.

Down the block on West 44th Street was my classmate and archenemy Kong Warthead. His mother’s name was Mrs. Warthead. It was difficult for Kong to walk because of the size of his butt. His legs were like giant plastic bags stuffed with marshmallows. When he moved, sinkholes opened in the street and cars rolled into them along with kids in baby carriages. Mothers screamed. Kong had soft round shoulders and his arms hung like gorilla arms. He didn’t have hands, but links of chain hung from his sleeves.

When he walked, he had to heave one huge bossy leg around the post of the other. He went, “Huhn . . . huhn.” He would wrestle me to the ground. When I got up, he would wrestle me down again. He’d say, “Why don’t you even talk, huh? Hey, Aaron. Say something. Hey, dumbbell.” That was his only idea. That’s all he ever said.

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Medium 9781574412710

Water

Tim Johnston University of North Texas Press PDF

Water

She was a good sleeper, a dependable sleeper, but that night

Charlotte woke up with her heart whumping, like a young mother.

There had been something.

She lay in the dark, not breathing. At one window the drapes were shaped by faint light from the street, but at the other there was nothing, no light from the neighbors, no moonlight, and the effect was briefly frightening, as if the wall had fallen away into space, or a black sea.

She drew the alarm clock into focus: 1:36. She had a son who would stay out late, but when he came home he was like a cat, and if she heard him at all it was because she had gotten up to use the washroom, pausing by his door just long enough to hear him clicking at the computer in there, or humming to the iPod, or shhshing Ginny Simms, his girl.

She heard none of this now, nothing at all but the heat pumping invisibly, bloodlike, in the walls of the house. This was late

October, two nights before Halloween, the first truly cold night of the season.

She closed her eyes and the dream she’d been having eddied back to center—a dream of hands, the feel of them, the smell of them; muscle and tendon, palm and finger. Her body, under the bedding, still hummed. She breathed, she slowed, she drifted down.

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Medium 9781574412796

Chapter Eleven

Jane Roberts Wood University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Eleven

1

Yellow leaves cling to the elms in An ne’s front yard. In her garden a handful of straggling blooms hang from tattered bushes. Everything around her is dormant, quietly gathering strength.

Beneath the day-after-day monotony of the pewter sky, Anne has firmly settled into the changes she has made. Straight teeth no longer matter. She has taken off the rubber bands for comfort.

She enthusiastically teaches the single parenting class, which is so successful that two other campuses have initiated their own.

Invited to share her expertise, she says, “The class teaches itself. It teaches me.”

Most of the time she enjoys living alone.

Like tonight. She is with Christopher, who has become a regular at Uncle Calvin’s Coffee House, a place she had never been in all her years with Allen.

It was once a small Catholic chapel, now the scattered tables covered with blue-and-white-checked cloths, together with the informality of the musicians and the leisurely air of the patrons, give the place a cozy air. The music is both acoustic and eclectic.

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Medium 9780253006653

Five

Gilbert Gatore Indiana University Press ePub

88. Usually, any little detail is enough to prompt Niko’s mind to stray into endless digressions. And yet, here, nothing that goes on around him arouses any musing in him whatever. He doesn’t try to figure out what the monkeys have against him nor whether he’s right in interpreting their behavior towards him as revenge or punishment.

His sole preoccupation is to make himself as unobtrusive as possible, to vanish from the glance of the monkeys, especially from the harsh female. From the way she’d shaken him he felt so weakened that it scared him more than anything ever had before. Of course, the discretion wasn’t commanded or indicated to him in any clear way. He senses it. At the risk of receiving a more severe punishment than eviction from his bed, he is to submit completely. He applies himself to this by eliminating every useless thought from his mind and generally abstaining from any kind of initiative. For a very brief moment, when his imagination eludes his vigilance, he sees himself as the last leg of a caterpillar, restricted to following the movement of all the preceding ones, indifferent to thought, anxiety, and feelings, since, when all is said and done, he’s obliged to follow the others.

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