Posts tagged “short stories”

  1. When Bessa is nine her hair turns gray. Well, to be fair, it is more silver than gray. Some blame it on the abnormally high tides, others on the dismal blue crab harvest of that year, but most claim it is the island itself that has turned her hair that vibrant, glinting shade—that it has done so as it slowly slips into the warm, milky waters of the Chesapeake. You see, the island is sinking.

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  2. Anya came home to an apartment that smelled the way it always did when her mom was gone—a little sweet, a little organic. Her mother was up north with a tourist group. She was a translator; whenever she left, there was less music, less cigarette smoke, less warm food in the apartment. The afternoons passed soundlessly into night.

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  3. The woman did nothing more to catch Yakov's attention than to stand in the stale morning air, arms folded across her chest. In the crowd of commuters bustling through City Square, she should’ve been invisible, but the sight of her made him stop. He did not think her beautiful. He stared as if he were in one of the city’s churches and she was part of a mural on its wall.

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  4. Alex’s hair was beginning to gray at the nape of his neck and he tired after walking up only two flights of stairs. I teased him about these facts only to deflect responsibility.

    With every stroke of the pen or tap of the keyboard, I could feel energy pooling in my fingertips. Late at night, I’d touch Alex’s shoulder and feel its frailty, my fingers pressing down and feeling only bone.

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  5. Nicole Chung: In your Author’s Note at the end of Carry On, you wrote that after creating Simon and Baz and telling some of their story in Fangirl, you just weren’t ready to let go of them. Why did these two characters mean so much to you, and were you at all surprised to find yourself continuing their story? Rainbow Rowell: I think I felt like I’d created these characters and this whole world, but…

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  6. The therapist looked disgusted when I told her Quentin's idea of foreplay was an erection against my leg. I felt vindicated. Even she was repulsed by my husband. Our magnetic fields repelled each other on the loveseat. “Thanks for that,” Quentin said in the car. “If it wasn't true I wouldn't say it.” “Did you see the look she gave me?” I wondered what he expected after all this time. “I forget what it's like…

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  7. You can tell he has the virus the day he puts his hands on your face when he kisses you, warm fingertips canting your head a few degrees bit off north, which feels sweet, not terrible at all, but is not something he’s done in twenty years of kissing you. He’s picked this up from someone else, someone infected. Later, the realization that you will both die, and soon, but first: Did the other woman…

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  8. When Sela Lowe invited her children, Aimee, Bobby, Cecelia, and Matty, to the lake at the beginning of September it was clear the invitation was more demand than request. At least, it was clear to Cecelia. The others viewed Sela’s words as law, as compact phosphorescent orbs of fact, the sort of facts told by honest-to-god truth tellers. “Righteous truths,” Matty once said to Cecelia. Whether demand or fact, Kyle kissed his wife outside the…

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  9. It’s raining again and Danni wears a slicker out the door to catch the trolley. No longer their door, just hers. A homeless woman who has become a landmark of Danni’s mornings gibbers to herself from the piss-reeking trolley shelter. She and the woman are always the only black people at the stop. It starts to rain harder, but no one will risk the smell or the woman’s possibly volatile company to sit in the…

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  10. BE HONEST, Mel writes. (“No pussyfooting around,” her mother’s voice says in her head, but she knows the guys would razz her for writing “pussy.”) I WANT UR OBJECTIVE OPINION. 1 TO 10. It’s dangerous to ask for a number. Other girls are master fishers, staving off cruelty with their own ruthlessness: i know im fat, i know my hair sucks, i just want to know how hopeless things are. Mostly the guys play along,…

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  11. What do you like, he said in the dark after the first time and they said everything you do, I like everything you do. And I’m here, I’m right here, believe that. And what do you like, they said in the dark time after time, and he said, everything, really, and they said no, tell me something, what do you like, a fantasy or something, and he said I have a rape fantasy, and they…

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  12. 1. Just let go of the wheel and keep your foot on the gas, I heard myself think it, simple as an item on the To Do. I had just left my father’s house, and I was speeding towards an intersection when the lights turned—it was like I saw it from above, the cars screaming towards each other in a x of red and white—but I felt no fear of crashing. No itch either. I…

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  13. Like it or not, Imogene was under his thumb, a wayward girl far off her path and seeking comfort in the face of torn buildings. Her hair she’d dyed pink and blue in places and left blond elsewhere. Her head was a crown of confetti, chopped fronds you couldn’t even call mop or rag. Panteen didn’t want anybody else wanting her. She was his on the dead grass out by the levee, in

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  14. The problem is, the decision is not two roads diverging in a yellow wood. It is two roads in the wood and a third you think you can see just out of the corner of your eye. It is a fourth dashing through the woods like a wolf. It is a fifth in the sky. It is a sixth in the ground. The problem is, it is not just the two roads diverging for all…

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  15. Learn that you are frivolous. You are told this on a Saturday by an editor who rejects your manuscript. You had submitted it six months ago, newly unemployed, giddily setting free your first submission as if getting sacked were really just a bohemian blessing. Now you learn that you are possibly worse than an idiot. Some TV show lauded for grittily glamorizing the lives of young urbanites might depict this scene in a bright coffee…

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