Monthly Archives: September 2014

Sunday Six

Six sentences for Sunday, September 21:

I let her give me her news—another stroke, still small but more severe than the last one. She says hemiparesis, and apraxia, and visual field loss. She says this is very serious, that we should prepare ourselves for the likelihood that he will have another stroke, and even another, though she doesn’t say who “we” is. While she’s telling me all this, I imagine her in one of those starched-stiff nurse’s caps, white with a red cross on it, like a Halloween costume. Her nurse’s station is scattered with obscure instruments—huge hypodermic needles, surgical pliers, lengths of black rubber tubing the use of which I can’t even invent. And nearby, a cart full of vials of snake oil and pill bottles of amber and green glass, which she dispenses to patients using a giant silver spoon.

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“For Luck” in Underwater New York

I have a little story in the wonderful Underwater New York today.

Here’s a little excerpt to tempt you:

Drown the bird for luck, she tells me. It will keep him alive.

All right, I say.

The bird is small and yellow and white and grey, a songbird. When she puts it in my hands, I can feel its pulse shuddering against my palm. Tiny thing, I could crush it just as easily.

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Sunday Six

Six sentences for Sunday, September 14:

Never have clouds moved so slowly. I try to count the number of breaths it takes one of them to cross the lawn, but I lose count. In the whole time I’ve been watching, it’s moved only a quarter of an inch, as if it’s caught in some invisible net.

“That’s our cloud,” Albie says, pointing to the one I’ve been following. “We’ll keep it. I’ll carve our names in it, Albie and Evelyn forever.”

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Sunday Six

Six sentences for Sunday, September 7:

Soon I will have outgrown the swing. Already its wood is growing porous and soft, the varnish all peeled off. One day I will jump off it and never come back.

I’m thinking of the abandoned swing rotting away on its ropes when Albie rushes up behind me and shoves me hard. My legs lift as the swing rises, and rises, and rises. Air rushes past my ears in a two-step rhythm, one deep gasp as I go up and a sharp exhale as I lurch back. Albie’s palms press against my shoulder blades, forcing me higher and higher.

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