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Medium 9780253002365

Chapter Twenty

Gregory Schwipps Indiana University Press ePub

The ringing phone woke him up Saturday afternoon but he came to with a smile on his face. Ollie wasn’t a religious man but he’d thanked God so many times last night he half expected to hear His booming voice on the other line saying, “Glad you liked her, my favorite son.” He tugged himself free of the tangle of sheets and slid along the wall toward the phone, which rang on, patiently. Maybe it wasn’t God at all but the Devil, fussy like some collection agent, telling him he owed his soul for last night. Whatever. Now that he’d met her, it was like the difference between living in a house without electricity and one with. She lived so close—why hadn’t he found her sooner? He’d ask whichever omnipotent being was calling.

“Don’t tell me you’re still asleep,” she said.

“Summer!”

“Who’d you think it was?”

“It seemed like it coulda been anyone.” He sat heavily on a stool at the kitchen bar and put his face in his hand.

“Nice, sucker. Just how many girls call your house?”

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Medium 9780253002365

Chapter Twenty-Two

Gregory Schwipps Indiana University Press ePub

Seeing the face in the door’s window, Ollie involuntarily yelped and fell backwards, kicking over a toy. Some tall, freestanding thing, it clattered against itself, making a tremendously loud noise in the black house. He gained the corner and hid behind it, his arms shivering and his heartbeat shaking the wall he leaned against. It was impossible to think.

The lightning continued to illuminate the house in irregular intervals, throwing odd shadows and pale blue angles around the rooms. From where he stood, he could see into the kitchen, the back door, and down the hallway leading to the bedrooms. The darkness hid much of this and suddenly he thought there might be more of them already inside.

When Summer touched his arm he shouted again.

She jumped. “What’s wrong?” she asked, her voice hissing and tight. She pulled up against him along the wall.

“Someone’s out there!” He sounded scared, even to his own ears.

She tried to move around him, peering into the other room. He pulled her back.

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Medium 9780253019813

That Which Has No Fixed Order

Zachary Tyler Vickers Break Away Book Club Edition ePub

only me and Momma’s boyfriend Peat on the Peckinpaugh stage now, holding, holding, holding, that motherfucker him like a pecked scarecrow, me like a parade balloon leaking helium, cheeks puffed, soaked with sweat, all the disqualified contestants sitting with heads in their laps, except the guy who just dropped on his blue face, and now the medics are fanning him and sticking sniffing salts up his nostrils until he sits up blinking and gasping, a feeling very familiar to me as I reswallow the air in my squeezed lungs, my chest burning as the seconds collect on the judge’s pocket watch engraved To my Dandelion, his white beard and bone frame like the dead weed, and as soon as Peat quits and exhales huge the judge will burst apart and carry across the stage smeared with berries from the pie eaters, soggy kernels in the plank gaps from the cob eaters, the CanalFest crowd cheering, chewing corn dogs and fried pickles, wearing foam mustaches of blond beer as they walk around watching Betsy Ross stitch her flag, the blacksmith pound shoes for the barge mules, the Drums Along the Mohawk parade, the eighteen-sixties church, the canal lock’s north gate hydraulics booth, the Antique Barge Pavilion where the judge announces me and Peat have been holding for six hundred seconds, over halfway to the world record of one thousand one hundred and sixty-one seconds held by a free diver with lungs like Egyptian tombs, and me with the chronic apnea secret weapon, my lungs used to the lacking, me six when Momma couldn’t wake me for fifteen minutes, sitting on a large toy pile, crying to God not to take me also, rubbing my head and stomach like she did to Pop when he got skinny, stocking up on blankets, telling me she still had a hard time telling me, I was her fragile button, her bruised fruit, she opened herself to make me, a pain I can’t know and only imagine like the kidney stones years back, like someone reached up into me and struck the lighter’s flint, a feverish ache and puke until I passed them and collapsed in the bathtub weeping, but this is not pushing something out to be proud of, all I can do is hold it in, hold it up to Pop’s expectation, You’re going to be man of the house soon, coughing, the smell of iodine clinging to him like sulfur in the well water, so I’m trying to win the Iron Lung trophy and add it to the lot beside Momma’s golf clubs, buckets and vases and plastic food containers filled with tees and Titleists, trash bags of knickers and khakis in the sizes Pop wore as he thinned, wicker baskets, the cigar boxes or stacks of empty cigar boxes or cigar boxes full of matchbooks, mounds of miscellaneous along the hallway, dozens of blankets and pillows in two tight plots where me and Momma sleep, a photo of Pop tucked under one of hers, telling me Hold on to everything, Bernie when I come home from clerking at the KwikStop or drive her to Doctor Morgan or to the Social Security office to pick up a disability check, parking in the driveway, the garage gill-packed with plastic bottles, sewing machines and dress forms, fabric samples, carpet samples, shoe boxes of playing cards, the one rocking horse and so much else that blurs into one accumulation I call her “museum” because she likes to move through the narrow paths and tell me where and when she got stuff, a television wedged in each room playing home movies from the VHS bins of our family and families purchased at thrift stores and yard sales, extra VCRs stored in the broken fridge behind a tower of folding chairs that Peat claims is dangerous, that twiggy motherfucker got her laughing, his hand already on her hip when I returned from parking the car, next in the disability check line, leaning on her cane more in his direction than to the right like normal, and now Peat is purpling but still holding, a former navy diver, but who does he think he is? what does he think he’s going to replace? I see some white flashes as the judge announces eight hundred seconds of holding, and I’m going to show Peat that holding is something we Gadwaws take for serious, we just don’t get rid of things, and I know he’s got it in his head he wants me gone with the rest of her museum, my record collection, the baseball gloves me and Pop wrapped in rubber bands, the hundred golf and hunting mugs filled with poker chips left at the foot of the propane grill on the porch, candles melted down to nubs, wax dripping through the cooking grate, all of it Peat wants to hire a truck and just dump, Momma already having slowed her curating since he came around, but no holy way in hell I’m forfeiting, and maybe the white spots are the crowd taking pictures as we approach the nine hundred second mark, a tight heat in my chest rising up my throat, pulling the strings behind my eyes, Peat on his knees and knuckles, the crowd roaring in and out, and I see Momma among them, sitting in her chair because she can’t stand for as long as I can hold, and she’s crying, spit strings in her open mouth, not liking this, me bringing it all back, but it was Momma who said after we buried Pop that no matter what we needed to hold our heads up high, so I am, numb on the same side my mouth droops toward until I’m tipping down down down in that direction, white spots fireworking, Momma younger and prettier before I got fat and Pop got sick, because I see kitchen countertops and the microwave and magnets on the fridge door holding a report card, she’s wearing her wedding ring on the hand holding a lobster over a steaming pot, its eyes twisting, claws shackled, and I tell her Don’t, but she says lobsters can’t feel hot water like we can, Look, she says and rubs its head and stomach and the lobster calms, It’s hypnosis, she tells me, Fear alters the flavor of the meat, and I remember this being when things started to change, Pop’s first wheezes and shunts and yellowing, my metabolism slowing, and Momma held on, but the longer you hold the lobster the longer it’s afraid, and if rubbing calms it then the lobster must feel you, Momma, so how can it not feel the water? but I didn’t have the lungs for such a thing then, just a boy who’d come in from a catch with his out-of-breath Pop, learning the slider and curve and change-up, and what I did was turn from the sizzle as she dropped it in and covered the pot with a lid

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Medium 9780253012098

4

S. A. An-sky Indiana University Press ePub

KAPLUNER AND EIZERMAN went along the street, turned into a steep, narrow, muddy lane with pathetic little hovels and black, bare patches from a recent fire; they climbed down into a ravine and, crossing it, climbed another hill. A new vista opened before Eizerman. Instead of the small lane they’d just come through, inundated with slops and littered with garbage and rotting offal, with its crooked old hovels, no signs of greenery, lacking air and light—here, on the open meadow, stood, forming a wide street, two rows of one-story houses, sturdy and tidy, with gardens in front, and curtains and flowers in the windows. One could sense the airy tranquility. From the first glance one could say with assurance that this quarter was inhabited not by Jews; in these bright little houses, boldly and cheerfully overlooking a broad street, resided couples who were not afraid of life, but who were sure of what tomorrow would bring, who felt themselves complete masters of the earth on which they lived.

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Medium 9780253008183

4 The Amnesiac in the Maze

Jason L Brown Quarry Books ePub

Michael Czyzniejewski

HE DOESNT KNOW HOW LONG he’s been in the corn, but that’s not because of the amnesia: he’s just lost. His disorder affects the longer-term things like not knowing his name, where he was born, what his mother looks like, if he ever knew her in the first place. Now, without a watch, calendar, or phone to tell him of the world, he’s wandering along. He remembers visiting this farm, drinking a cup of warm cider, buying a bag of decorative gourds, chatting with the farmer’s wife. He petted their dog, a black lab that was part Pekingese. He was about to leave, just drive off with his gourds and return to his nameless existence. But the maze was free, looked fun, something to do instead of watching TV, instead of hoping to remember. He entered the maze twenty minutes before closing and hasn’t emerged since. It’s been weeks, maybe two, maybe four: He’s lost track to that degree. But since he doesn’t know who he is, doesn’t have any particular place to go, why not stay? And maybe that’s how the amnesia comes into play: no motivation to emerge.

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Medium 9781942496656

Chapter 25

Charlotte Jones Solution Tree Press ePub

Pulling his jacket tighter around his shoulders, Conrad waited just beyond the walls of Fort Asman. In comparison to Eleora, Asman was freezing cold, and every breath he exhaled created small puffs of cloud. The frigid northern air seemed to tighten all the muscles in his shoulder, and it ached more with every move he made. Impatiently, he shifted from one foot to the other, trying to push out the pain throbbing in his shoulder and the fear creeping up his spine.

It was just dawn; the pale gold sunlight sparkled on the frosted Imber Grasslands that stretched endlessly into the distance. He had been standing there for more than an hour awaiting Zafrir’s arrival. When he had left the tent, Zinnia and the officers had still been asleep; he had tried his best to be quiet so they could rest. They needed it. He had spent most of the night watching the notebook; Zinnia had very unwillingly allowed him to do so, acting oddly protective over it. Finally, she had opened it to the first blank page and made him swear he would not look through the other pages. She did not want him reading her and Shira’s private conversations. Her secrecy only irritated him, but he respected her wishes. It was not his place to offend her.

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Medium 9780253010476

Chapter 33 Twentieth Year

William Williams Indiana University Press ePub

By this time our young Gentleman Owen, Harry and Rory had made such work of the Pirates pit or reservoir to discover more treasure that they have extended the diameter of the hole to the breadth of 10 feet at least, but as yet all their labours prove of no effect. Yesterday morning Rory came down from the hill to me As I was sitting on our bed and said in his broken English, “No Friends can come over Long Key now. Long smoke, Fire make.”

“What, is the Key vanished then in the night?” Said I to him. But he, finding that I did not fairly understand him, went out to Harry directly. I overheard him saying that he saw people; this was pronounced in the Indian tongue. I then call’d Harry in and asked him what Rory would be at. “He says there are people on the Key with a great fire and that they are not our friends.”

“Call the White men, then,” Said I, and taking my glass away I marched. They were all Soon at my heels. When we got on the Clift we percieved about ten or twelve people round a large fire about 100 Yards from the old well but could percieve no Canoas, boat or Vessel. But that they were Indians we knew as none appear’d to have any covering on the head. Many conjectures we had among us on the affair but neither Harry or Rory would say of a certainty that they were our friends as by many actions they observed, altho at so great a distance, seem to confirm them that they were none of their tribe. “Well,” said I, “are you willing to go out and speak them, Lads?”

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Chapter 16

Charlotte Jones Solution Tree Press ePub

Conrad glanced around the moonshimmer’s landing ground as he tied it down. With a slight smile, he looked up at the giant’s gentle scarlet eyes; it had always seemed to him that moonshimmers could read his thoughts. It exhaled deeply, and its warm, smoky breath blew across his face. Its silver scales had a muted glow in the dusky twilight, and he gently ran a hand over the bridge of its nose after he finished the knots. With a motion to the other passengers, Conrad ran his hand over its gleaming, rough hide as he stepped around its belly.

Addae and the three corporals dismounted, leaping from the small, basketlike seats strapped to its side. Shaking his head, Conrad looked up; Zinnia’s face was white with horror.

“Come down, your highness,” he said softly. “The moonshimmer is secure. It won’t hurt you.”

Tensely, Zinnia closed her eyes and leapt from the creature’s back. As soon as she hit the ground, Conrad threw his hand over her mouth and held her still until she seemed calmer. Smirking, he then released her, and he pressed a finger to his lips before motioning the others to follow him.

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Medium 9780253006837

38: Alice

Abdourahman A. Waberi Indiana University Press ePub

38

ALICE

I TOUCH MYSELF; I delicately stroke the brushy tuft, the pink of my moist flesh slightly sticky, light mixing with dark. A peony. The invisible stirring is there, right next to me, a subterranean heating of my body. I feel him tight against me. I can feel him even if he's still rotting in the central police station. I'm feeling him more than ever. I slip two fingers inside the moving, half-open silk, moist and pearly, smiling to the stars. I can see my man standing behind me again, his body glued to mine, his body cutting a narrow path between desire and memories, his hands weighing my breasts. I sigh, purr like a well-fed cat. He turns me over, sucks my nipples. I'm drowning. Got to hold myself back and take a deep breath, the little voice inside me says without desire or displeasure. He catches hold of me again, lifts me up, sets me delicately on the bed, holding me by the hips. I lose myself in his arms; his lips run down my spine. He's getting ready to stick his turgescence into the very depths of my flesh. A deep song rises from the earth, floods the skies. His blood is beating and beating in his temples, in his jugular veins, his breast, his forearms. My man crushing me with his full weight, bringing back my knees before he opens them to set, no, to plant his trunk between them and move inside them up and down, up and down, his two legs completely parallel and even squeezed together, the rectangle of his back compressing and relaxing as the breath goes in and out of his chest clinging to mine, his arms now slipped beneath the shade of my armpits. I can feel my wetness swelling until it bursts.

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Medium 9780253010476

Chapter 18 Twelveth Year

William Williams Indiana University Press ePub

Twelveth year began. On a day as Somer was going thro the trees he told me how he had been beset by a Small bird; and as these birds are somewhat remarkable I shall mention their nature in this place. It is called by some the Hanger. There are several sorts of them but all fine feathered. They are about the size of our Starling and make their nests to hang down from the outer branch of a tree by a string. The nest is oblong like to a Cabbage net. Many times as I have passed any where nigh to one of their nests the bird has at once darted down from a limb full into my face, fly back and then return in a furious way as it would pick out my Eyes, so that I have been forced to beat them off.

These birds are fond of a particular kind of Insect which is altogether singular in its way. I always found them on the Cedar, Cypress and such kinds of trees. These Insects make themselves a kind of house resembling the Shape of a Ships Buy [buoy] and of a Substance so tough that it is impossible to break it with a mans finger. They fortify this Buy with particles from the same tree in a very curious way. At the uper end of this buy the Insect appears, about half its body out, where it is constantly spinning its threads, lowering itself down and then haleing itself up hand over hand, as is the Sailors term, with great dexterity. I have seen above a thousand of them hanging from one tree like so many bobbins. It is curious to see how dextrous the Hanging Bird catches them as he flies, then putting it under his foot on a limb of the tree disengages it at once.

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Medium 9780253002365

Chapter Thirty-One

Gregory Schwipps Indiana University Press ePub

They rode home after the meeting along county roads dark and deserted. The moon hung nearly full overhead and its blue hue illuminated the gravel they drove on, a ribbon of light. Ethel sat next to him in the darkened cab and he could hear her crying, a sound like kittens mewling, suddenly familiar again, although he felt sure he’d gone years at a time without hearing it.

He wasn’t the kind to blame a man for working, but there were some jobs that involved killing and some jobs that one should be killed for doing. Like that bastard from the meeting tonight—that steel-eyed son of a bitch attorney. Frank kept seeing him up there on the stage, lording over them like they were so many cattle in a slaughterhouse pen. And he knew there were others, too—those he hadn’t seen tonight and would never see. The governor must’ve wanted this lake. District representatives. But, really, some of the ones who most deserved shot were those in this county—people he’d known all his life!—who had supported this idea from the beginning and even called for it. Those fools who thought they knew the river, who thought the floods were too much to contend with, even though they weren’t farmers or landowners and at most had to deal with occasional closed roads. Those who thought this county needed a big damn puddle in it. There was more blame than opportunities for retribution and he knew this, as well.

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Medium 9781942496656

Chapter 22

Charlotte Jones Solution Tree Press ePub

Bayo’s mouth was agape. Shira’s jaw clenched. A sickening combination of dread and excitement filled Bayo’s stomach.

“Bayo?” one of the girls said carefully. “Is something wrong?”

Bayo trembled visibly. Her face was white. “Girls, I want you to go home.”

“What?”

“Why?”

“But we still have to clean up!”

“Go. Right now. Get out of here.” Not one of them moved. “You’re not in trouble, but I need you all to go home. Do not speak of this prisoner to anyone. You all will be paid for a week’s vacation.”

Stunned, the girls just stared at her.

“Go!” Bayo ordered sharply. “Right now!”

The girls glanced at each other, then at Shira. Shira dropped her gaze to her lap as the girls quickly filed out of the kitchen. Their frantic whispers snaked into the kitchens, indistinct but frightened all the same. With a deep breath, Shira glanced around the room and then met Bayo’s terrified gaze.

“You have very nice kitchens,” Shira said quietly.

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Medium 9781574412789

Chapter Two

Jane Roberts Wood University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Two

• 1

R

obert Alexander Moore V, called Cinco by his friends and

Bobby by his family, sits on the back steps of his house. Bobby is seventeen and, even with a lazy eye, can see well enough. He is planning to run away and join the navy. And another thing: He is planning to ask Dixie Balderidge to the Silver Key Gypsy Dance.

He can’t tell his folks about that, either.

The War is driving everybody crazy. Everybody but Dixie’s mother, who was crazy before the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor. Last week after meeting Dixie in the Applebys’ old carriage house—she had to climb out a window to meet him—it was about to storm, so he had cut across the backyards. With Mrs. Appleby real sick in the hospital, real sick, the Appleby house was dark almost all the time, and it was safe to cut across. Mrs. Appleby didn’t like kids cutting across her yard—wearing a trail, she called it. But cutting across, he had seen a dark blue something, like a scrap of night sky, up in a tree. Going close, he saw it was his English teacher! “Hello,

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Medium 9780253329561

Chapter Four

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

On the beach at Whale’s Mouth Bay, amid boulders and sea gulls, Teeg lay roasting in the sun. Against her naked back and rump the sand felt like a thousand nibbling flames. Salt-laden wind fanned her hair. Even through the breathing-mask she could smell the ocean. Between repair missions, when she was required to stay inside the Enclosure, more than anything else she missed the feel of sun on her skin.

During this trip she quickly finished her assigned job—replacing fuel cells on a signal booster atop Diamond Mountain—and had three hours left over for scouting. Most of the time she used for discovering how hospitable a place the bay might be, testing for radiation, toxins, soil nutrients, the quality of water. These last few minutes of her allotted time she lay basking in the sun, as a celebration for having found the right place at last. She would have to make sure Whale’s Mouth had been omitted from the surveillance net. It probably had, since no tubes or laser channels or signal avenues passed anywhere near the place. Just another piece of real estate long since erased from human reckoning. She hoped so. Phoenix could tell her for sure. And she would need to spend a week here, later on, to run more tests on plants and microbes and air before she could assure the other seekers that this was indeed the place for the settlement.

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Medium 9780253002365

Chapter Fifteen

Gregory Schwipps Indiana University Press ePub

The yellow shreds of scrambled eggs swirled and made their way down the drain. He usually ate everything Ethel put in front of him, and she worried about his health as she finished the breakfast dishes. She’d already washed the lunch plates. It was early afternoon, and she’d been working on a crossword puzzle while he sat at the table, reading an Indiana Prairie Farmer. Before she could ask him about the eggs they both heard the combine coming down the road. He perked up at the sound—the diesel engine, the low hum of big tires on gravel. He stood up, too quickly, and fell back against the table. “Slow down! Watch what you’re doing!” she exclaimed, but he ignored her and went to the living room window. It was Wayne all right, coming to get started on the wheat. The orange lights blinked atop the green machine. The combine, hulking and otherworldly, looked as foreign as the space shuttle itself on the narrow country road. And this was just the combine—the wheat head would be trailered in later, because it was too wide for even a two-lane highway. He’d been wondering when Wayne was going to run the wheat.

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