741 Chapters
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Medium 9780253001801

Redemption

Robin Hemley Indiana University Press ePub

The first time they heard the preacher, Dan and Molly were about to make love. Molly had her arms around Dan's neck. They were on the four-poster flea market bed, both of them paint-spackled and exhausted from a day of fixing up the new bungalow. Sex had been about the farthest thing from either of their minds. They'd been discussing color schemes for the bedroom, Dan quite seriously, Molly only half-heartedly. “You choose,” she'd said with impatience and indifference edging her voice. “Whatever it is, it'll be fine.” Dan felt his own irritation and joylessness rise inside him, and almost answered her sharply. Instead, he beat his anger back. Molly, defiant, ready to fight, but willing to avoid one, said, partly as a diversionary tactic, partly as an irritation test, “You know, you've got paint all over your new glasses.” The two of them stood side by side, waiting, poised between rejection and need, and then toppled together into bed. This promised to be the best kind of lovemaking: wholly unplanned, intuitive, wild, and slightly comical.

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Medium 9780253012098

16

S. A. An-sky Indiana University Press ePub

KORNBLAT FOLLOWED THE conversation attentively, without letting go of his textbook. After some hesitation, he put the book aside and approached the table.

“Here’s what I have to say,” he began in a business-like manner. “There’s only one sure means to rescue her! It’s a difficult step, but if she agrees to it, she’ll immediately avoid this fellow, as well as any others. . . .”

“How?” his comrades inquired with interest.

“The simplest way of all. One has only to say a few words. . . .”

Harey-at!” blurted out Uler, guessing the answer.1

“Precisely!” confirmed Kornblat in a tone indicating that he was surprised his comrades hadn’t come up with such an easy solution before. “One of us will drop into Beryashev’s shop with two comrades as witnesses when Sonya is present (this will have to be arranged with her in advance), purchase something from her, slip a silver coin into her hand, and say aloud ‘Harey-at,’ and it’s all done! Not even a Tatar could help!”2

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Medium 9780253019073

Hallow This Ground

Colin Rafferty Break Away Book Club Edition ePub

I’m from the Midwest; I know cold. As a child in Kansas, I once slid home from school on sheets of ice covering the sidewalks. When I lived in Iowa, I figured out a path from the edge of campus to my classroom that took me through as many buildings as possible, an escape from a wind chill so brutal that it could freeze nostrils shut.

And yet right now, in a parking lot in Maryland, I’m colder than I’ve been in years, a cold settling deep in my bones that I can’t shake off. The car’s dashboard shows just seven lines in its digital temperature readout, like lined-up toothpicks reading “7 F.”

We could quadruple that number and still be below freezing. And while it gets cold—below freezing, even—in Alabama, the state that Elizabeth and I moved from just eight months ago, it never gets this cold there.

Perhaps what I said earlier is wrong. I knew cold. I’ve forgotten it.

I look over to the passenger seat, where Elizabeth sleeps or, maybe like me, tries to sleep. We got up before dawn to drive from our house in Fredericksburg, Virginia, to a country club in Maryland, where her father, director of tennis for a city in Alabama, is giving a clinic for other tennis pros, and we’re trying to catch a few winks before we pick him up at the end of his presentations.

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Medium 9781942496656

Chapter 31

Charlotte Jones Solution Tree Press ePub

“Has she said anything?”

Lutalo stood just outside the infirmary tent, speaking quietly with the nalesi. Shira could hear him as he spoke; she liked listening to his voice. If he spoke softly enough, he sounded like her father.

With a heavy sigh, Shira pulled the warm blanket tighter around her shoulders, running her hands over the red fabric of the too-large Sunbursti uniform she now wore. Slowly, she tilted her head back so she could see the sun. The nalesi, a man named Kafil, had given her a bowl of clear soup to eat. Her hands had shaken so badly when she smelled it she had been forced to set it down, even as her stomach moaned for it. It was the first food she had eaten in almost two days. In silence, Zinnia had sat beside her as Kafil gently had checked her vital signs, whispering simple charms as warm light flooded over her skin. He had also given her a soldier’s uniform into which she could change and get rid of the charred rags she had donned. When he had left, Shira had created a slender gold pencil with a snap of her fingers.

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Medium 9781942496656

Chapter 45

Charlotte Jones Solution Tree Press ePub

When the light faded, the room was silent. Kaelo lay in the center of the floor, a massive, golden sun emblazoned on his chest. He was dead. The two Iniskroun lay on either side of Shira, their lives dissolved into the sunlight as well.

After a long moment, Shira’s eyes flickered open, and air returned to her lungs in deep, ragged gasps. Her hands fluttered over her chest, and she ran her fingers over the place where the knife had pierced her. Even as she touched it, the wound healed and vanished; only a small scar remained.

“Shira?”

She stood immediately, sprinting toward him. Conrad’s breathing was labored, and his chest heaved as he tried to keep himself calm. As she knelt by his side, nausea filled her. There was so much blood. It covered his hands and spilled onto his uniform and the floor around him as he tried to compress it, trying to stay conscious and relieve the pain.

“You’re alive,” he whispered, a smile breaking through his agony.

“I’m going to heal you,” she said softly. “You’re going to be okay.” Before he could say anything, she gently pressed her hand against his and whispered, “Saot.”

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Medium 9781574415384

I Now Pronounce You

Jessica Hollander University of North Texas Press ePub

I Now Pronounce You

In bed, the wife heard the sports announcer. Heard the cheers and chants while washing her face in the bathroom—she didn’t care. She didn’t care her new husband woke before her, the sneak, and went downstairs to watch early-morning sports television. A good decision to marry him—rushed, frantic even, but the wife was two years post-college and sick-of-it, and the husband was an American flag: starry-eyed and pin-striped, a regal flourisher to those beneath him.

Drunk at the Hooters bar, the husband had watched her. He’d spoken loudly about the feminist movement and embracing one’s sexuality. “Nobody has to hide beneath the covers anymore,” he’d said, and she’d believed him.

Good to be a wife. Just back from her honeymoon, in the center of the clean-carpeted, big-roomed house—it was his—she adjusted. She had previously rented a gritty-floored apartment above a beauty salon that emitted all sorts of smells and chemicals; she believed she’d become more beautiful walking constantly through them. Sometimes she locked herself in the new husband’s bathroom and hair-sprayed the walls and foamed mousse into the sink. On the toilet, she closed her eyes and remembered fretful, feral nights silky-legged with Hooters friends, and when she emerged steamed in the doorway, riotous and beautiful, she and the new husband gambled. Striptease Poker. Seven-Card Pose. Texas Hold-This.

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Medium 9780253006837

7: Bashir Binladen

Abdourahman A. Waberi Indiana University Press ePub

7

BASHIR BINLADEN

THE FIRST HALF lasted long-long time in that war. Everybody stayed in position; the attacks were rare. The battle was a tie, without real fair referee. Cause referee still France in that business-there. Paul Djidou, the Paris guy, never stop coming an going between Paris an Djibouti, so much the Boeing 747 all tired out. Paul Djidou he mediation: result zero. But goverment accuse: yes you wanna help the rebels, France too much friend of The Eternal Opponent (Eternal Opponent, he new chief of Scud, sworn enemy of the president, former prime minister, former deputy, former nurse—Eternal Opponent always former). On their side the rebels accuse too: yes, France providing support for the maneuvers (that military language, very correct) of the goverment. Paul Djidou yelled: yes me too I'm sick of this former territory of Wadags and Walals, and hey I'm going back to Nice (Nice, it beautiful part of France). Long-long time later we learn on RFI that Monsieur Paul Djidou, he left to do peace mediation between Hutus and Tutsis, over there in Rwanda, I think. Results: first half of the first war, it lasted. Old as a child of three, an that no joke. Both teams, they thought we gonna find new fair referee. Eternal Opponent went to ask Saleh (no, not the marathonian from Djibouti, that Ahmed Saleh, he so-so good with feet; the other Saleh, he president of Yemen) if he think he can be good fair referee. Saleh said: that political interference. Me too, I got big problems: with Eritrea, with fierce bearded guys (poor Saleh don't know my name been Binladen for six months, that confidential top military secret). Real country of Binladen, it's not Gaudy Arabia, sorry, Saudi Arabia, it's Yemenite mountains. Binladen before he got rich an smart he was living out in the sticks in Yemen. So Saleh of Yemen he end up saying go see UN, OAU, Arab League, you'll find good fair referee. So war will stop by itself. Dialogue between goverment and Eternal Opponent is deaf dialogue, always. Us draftees, we were happy. We had the weapons, the right to do whatever we want. An then, there still wasn't fierce battle. It was status quo (that military language too). Tie. And lots of dead too, specially rebels or civilians who sort of help rebels. But wait, let's be serious, there dead on our side too, specially young draftees with no esperience, not like me or Aïdid, Warya, Ayanleh, Haïssama. Lot of young draftees (why'm I saying young draftees, they all young, right?) pig out on bullets in the belly. That's war, but can't cry too much like mamas. Man with real hard thing between his legs never cry like little woman and that's that. Dismessed.

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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 9781574416473

Thinking about Carson

Polly Buckingham University of North Texas Press ePub

My dog and I love the ocean. Daily, we wander up and down the coast. Today, like many days, we walked in the rain. Clean spray fell diagonally into my face and rested on my cheeks and nose and lips. Martin wandered up against the dunes weaving his way among the driftwood pieces, pushing kelp around with his nose, chewing on fish bones and old bird wings. I walked as close to the receding ocean as possible. Tillamook Head was obscured in gray, and that gray reflected itself in wide tidal flats. Water pooled around the soles of my boots. I like walking in those reflected areas; the world is solid and repetitive, wide and silent.

Before Oregon, the world was broken up into pieces. Landscapes were broken up into streets and buildings and windows and doors and cars and faces; people were broken apart by words and hands and boots and objects sailing wickedly through the air. Imagine a spare and clean kitchen floor covered with broken glass. Imagine a quiet night, white curtains billowed with a steady wind. You are a child dreaming peacefully. You are woken by unremitting screams, the screams of someone else's nightmare where the breaking down process is no longer variable but constant.

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Medium 9781574416237

Snell's Law

Matt Cashion University of North Texas Press ePub

When he wasn't working, my father lived on our roof with his telescope and his booze. There were times, late at night, when I heard him dancing up there. He was a licensed psychopharmacologist, but I never knew what that meant. When I asked him once what it meant, he told me it was a title given one who specialized in psychopharmacology. I didn't know what that meant either, but I was embarrassed to tell him so. He expected me to know these things.

He took me to the roof when I was young. I looked down his pointed arm toward the constellations he pointed at for me, but I never saw the first. Not even the Big Dipper. I saw every star, but I never saw an example of what some of them group to form. He stopped pointing the year I turned seven. After that, I snuck to the roof when he wasn't home. I used his telescope to look through our neighbors’ windows at the wives and daughters of my dad's friends.

My mother was a painter, and we were very much alike, except that I couldn't paint. She painted for happiness, but if it worked, she kept it to herself. When I enrolled in the local community college (instead of leaving home for college as she'd wanted), she stopped talking. She wrote a note to us then that said, “I can't speak without crying, so I'm talking only to my paintings for awhile.” My father said she'd suffered a breakdown “of an all-too-common-sort.” She didn't ask for help, and he didn't offer any. He said she might get better and she might not; we'd have to keep watching. He asked if I had questions. I could not, just then, think of any.

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Medium 9780253012098

19

S. A. An-sky Indiana University Press ePub

IN A CORNER of the synagogue, in the feeble light of two burning candle ends, the silhouettes of the gathered yeshiva students were visible. In the opposite corner, scarcely illuminated by a tallow candle, behind a large folio, sat a pitiful, skinny young man; in a low voice, he was chanting a Talmudic melody, delicate, wistful, and melancholy; he was studying the Talmud. The young man’s body swayed back and forth; his enormous shadow was wildly, rapidly, and feverishly crisscrossing the wall behind him. The rest of the large, lofty synagogue was buried in somber semidarkness.

The yeshiva students, among whom also sat Hillel, greeted their teacher in silence, respectfully, but with some distrust, and hurriedly took their places at a long table. Mirkin began by separating a group of three pupils who still didn’t know the Russian alphabet. He gave them a copy of both the printed and cursive alphabet, where under each Russian letter was written the corresponding letter in Yiddish and its pronunciation in Russian. Then Mirkin turned to the other yeshiva students who were waiting quietly with avid interest to hear what he would say.

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Medium 9780253019073

Victims: The Yellow Flowers

Colin Rafferty Break Away Book Club Edition ePub

/10:00/Warsaw Central Station

Here’s how it happened: the locomotive picked up twenty cars and took
them to the camp. That took maybe an hour.

Underground. Double-checking my train’s departure time on the encased poster, I pass a note to the ticket agent. I do not speak Polish, nothing beyond a weak Do you speak English? and so all of my communication in this country is written out, copied carefully from my phrase book.

She looks at my note, crosses out the part where I have written miejscówka; evidently, there are no reservations on the train to Bialystok. She writes a number on the sheet and pushes it back under, and I, acting out the agreed-upon choreography of all retail transactions, hand her thirty zloty, a little under ten dollars.

Walking away, I roll my change in my hand, a five-zloty coin, enough for breakfast. My train ticket, Warszawa Centralna-Małkinia, rests in my bag, next to my camera, next to my guidebook, next to my notebook. My feet are covered in blisters from the last three days of walking around Warsaw; one, on my left heel, looks like a fat slug has taken up residence. It will be nice to sit down for a while.

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Medium 9781574412789

Chapter Ten

Jane Roberts Wood University of North Texas Press PDF

Winter 1944

Chapter Ten

• 1

W

inter has come early. Unbelievably, a light snow on Thanksgiving Day. The sound of Robert’s car has brought the Little Brontës out to the front steps, where they stand shivering with the cold and their anxiety over this first Thanksgiving without Robert’s wife.

Three days getting ready. First, Emily had set Ruth (who has been with them longer than anyone cares to say) to making the cakes, chocolate for the children, and the orange layer—that takes all day—for the grown-ups. Yesterday, Anne had insisted on accompanying Henry to the greengrocer’s for cranberries and lettuce and red pears and to the grocery store with the main order and, finally, to the butcher’s, where the twenty-one-pound turkey

Emily had ordered was dressed and waiting.

It was while Anne was setting the table that the two had a discussion, one that bordered on argument. “Won’t it be strange not to even mention her name?” Anne had said. She waited a minute, and as there was no response, she continued. “After all, she is the children’s mother. I just think a casual remark, such as, ‘Robert,

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Medium 9781942496656

Chapter 33

Charlotte Jones Solution Tree Press ePub

Bayo’s heart sank when the soldiers dragged in the tattered Sunbursti. He stumbled when pushed forward, and one of the men unlocked the single, narrow cell in the middle where Shira had been imprisoned. They shoved him in, and when the door slammed, they left the dungeons without a word.

Eyes closed and teeth bared, Conrad stood in the center of his cell. Massive welts crisscrossed his upper body. The huge scar on his right shoulder was a nasty shade of red. He gently pressed one of his shackled hands to his side, drawing air as slowly as he could. Blood streamed down his face from the wide gash that had not yet clotted, and the eye above it was swollen shut. Bayo watched as he tried to lean back against the bars to rest, only to straighten as soon as he touched with a sharp inhale and a mumbled curse in Sunbursti. He held his breath for a long moment until he gradually relaxed, and his hands frantically touched around his neck, fingering for something. Slowly, his hands drifted toward his pockets, searching them carefully. He did not seem to find whatever it was he was looking for. He exhaled, something like despair flooding across his face. Bayo knew what it meant. He had no way to escape.

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Medium 9781574413199

Wherever You Are, You're Already Gone

Geoff Schmidt University of North Texas Press PDF

Wherever You Are,

You’re Already Gone

H

er second child Joshua will shout out “No, no, no!” in his sleep and she will hear him from her workroom. She will turn immediately from her sewing machine, from the bolts of bright cloth and the fat spools of thread that surround her. Afternoon light will slant crazily through the windows. When she gets to the living room where he sleeps on the couch beneath a tattered afghan, he will already be back in another, better dream. She will not know this. She will smooth his hair away from his forehead.

He will be dreaming of huge, friendly dogs circling him in a green grassy treeless field laced with goldenrod.

She is eighteen, and in love. Bobby is a linebacker for the Golden

Hurricanes. She loves him primarily because he loves her, though neither of them will ever truly know this. They are sitting in the Red Lobster, eating shrimp smothered in butter and lemon.

Something that is not hunger rolls as lazy as a fish inside of her.

It is a Friday night. She asked for this. She asked for dinner out somewhere. She wanted a restaurant. She wants the smells, the tastes, the people surrounding them. She wants waiters saying yes, yes, yes, at once, calling him “sir.” She wants to imagine this part of it, this future. Waiters waltzing about them: yes at once yes at once yes. He looks across the table at her. He says, “Maybe we can go to the Fairview after.” He smiles: goofy, shy, eager. It is there again, the wash, the roll. She imagines small shrimp eyes

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