741 Chapters
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Medium 9780253000125

Part III - The Last Studebaker

Robin Hemley Indiana University Press ePub

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of the gods.

–AESCHYLUS

Recently, a money-making idea had occurred to Lois. Antiques and collectibles, she knew, were cheaper in Indiana than just about anywhere else in the country. Partly, this had to do with economics. Indiana couldn't claim to be one of the nation's financial flashpoints and wasn't the trendsetting capital of the world either.

While Michiana wasn't the oldest settled part of the country, it still had some years on much of the nation. In 1820, Pierre Navarre had settled along the St. Joseph River, and was followed soon after by other fur traders. Massachusetts was older, but you couldn't find antiques there at a good price. That's because people knew about Massachusetts. They didn't know about Michiana. You could still find treasures around South Bend for next to nothing. Not so in New England, where Lois imagined everyone knew the value and history of every stray trinket and button.

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Medium 9780253010247

Chapter 6

Jesse Lee Kercheval Indiana University Press ePub

After that, I took the train as i’d meant to, though I could feel a bruise rising between my eyes. I changed from the RER to the Metro, headed safely and sanely in the right direction. But when it was time to change lines at the Gare St-Lazare, I made another mistake and got on the wrong one. As soon as the doors hissed closed, I realized what I’d done. “Screw this,” I said, loud enough to turn the heads of the two teenage girls sitting in the jump seats just inside the car, and I got off at Pigalle, meaning to cut over to Montmartre and come, that way, down into the flat lands of Batignolles.

I walked up Pigalle, past the strip clubs, sex clubs, and adult bookstores interspersed with the odd, brightly lit gyro stands. Women and men in singles and pairs passed me, some offering me things no French class covered. I kept walking. “Nice boots,” a tall transsexual in front of one of the clubs called out to me.

“Thanks,” I said. He was wearing black lace-ups with wicked heels and tight red fishnet stockings that followed his legs up into a scant circle of skirt.

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Medium 9780253001801

Magellan Stew

Robin Hemley Indiana University Press ePub

The following sixteenth-century diary was recently discovered among miscellaneous papers in the Rare Books Room at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana—once again changing what we thought we knew about history. It is the true account of Ferdinand Magellan's fateful battle with the forces of Datu Lapu-Lapu on Mactan island in 1521 in what is now the Philippines. The author, a Portuguese spy, most likely died along with twenty-six fellow officers, ambushed by the forces of Datu Raja Humabon only days after Magellan's death. Humabon and eight hundred of his followers had been converted to Christianity by Magellan, but angered by the Spanish crew's repeated abuse of the local women, Humabon's men ambushed the crew. The survivors retreated to their ships and made off for Spain, successfully circumnavigating the globe for the first time. One of the survivors, Juan Sebastian del Cano, took all the credit for Magellan's accomplishments, and it wasn't until centuries later that Magellan received his proper due, thanks to the discovery of the secret diary of Italian adventurer Antonio Pigafetta. It is not known how the present manuscript made its way to Indiana, or for certain the fate of its author. Perhaps he survived to live in exile on the island of Mactan or neighboring Cebu. This much is certain: he was not among the survivors who returned to Spain.—Editor's Note

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Medium 9781942496656

Chapter 39

Charlotte Jones Solution Tree Press ePub

“Your highness?”

A messenger appeared at the door, and Celeste stood, glancing at Malena cautiously. Malena had returned to the palace earlier in the afternoon at Celeste’s request. Celeste tried to stop her hands from shaking as he handed her a letter. She immediately recognized the handwriting addressing it.

“It’s from Conrad,” she said quietly. Her fingers broke the seal, but she kept the letter shut.

“Maybe you should sit,” Malena said.

Celeste shook her head and glanced around the room. Her lady’s maid stood in the corner, listening carefully though she pretended to rearrange the same vase of flowers she had been nervously fretting over for the last half-hour. The entire day, she had refused to leave Celeste’s side. Celeste appreciated it more than she knew. The messenger stayed in the doorway, waiting for her to dismiss him.

Malena stood and squeezed Celeste’s shoulder gently. “Open it. No matter what, we will persevere.”

With a deep, shaking breath, Celeste unfolded the small note and read the single line. In an instant, she cried out and dropped to her knees, tears streaming down her face. She pressed a hand to her mouth as Malena knelt and held her tightly, before she could say a word.

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Medium 9781574415650

The Second Wife

Becky Adnot-Haynes University of North Texas Press PDF

The Second Wife

T

he first wife was dead, which called for a reverence of spirit when speaking of her, a lowered voice and furrowed, sympathetic brow, but the problem was that the second wife didn’t feel reverent. She felt fascinated, curious—but not reverent. She liked to ask questions about her, questions like which sections of the newspaper had she enjoyed most and did she always cook a vegetable side dish with dinner (the second wife did not) and what were her thoughts on movies in which a man and a woman switched bodies? There was a gingerliness embedded in the husband’s manner as he answered these questions. The second wife sensed that he felt they were disrespectful of the first wife’s memory, but she did not. When I die, she often said, I hope there is someone who wants to know if I liked eating cantaloupe in the summer and going to amusement parks.

She liked cantaloupe fine, the husband would sigh, or We never went to an amusement park together, and the second wife would record these tidbits in her mind, like a court reporter.

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Medium 9780253012098

39

S. A. An-sky Indiana University Press ePub

THE SMALL ROOM was filled with people. They sat on beds and benches, the floor, and in each other’s laps. A samovar was boiling on the table. They took turns drinking tea from the only two glasses they had. The guests, first one, then another, ran out for provisions: soon loaves of bread, sausage, even pastries began to appear on the table. Thick tobacco smoke hung in the room; lively conversation was taking place, and the sound of young laughter could be heard.

“Gentlemen, let’s read something!” cried Geverman.

“No, it would be better to sing!” Kapluner said, trying to outshout him.

“Read! Read Pisarev!” insisted Geverman.

But the public was not in a serious-enough mood for reading Pisarev. Protests arouse.

“No, Pisarev next time! Now we must sing something!”

The young man in a frock coat with long flaps who’d greedily reached for a Russian cigarette, without waiting for an invitation, began singing a popular Jewish song in a low voice:

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Medium 9781574416237

Awful Pretty

Matt Cashion University of North Texas Press ePub

Just after midnight, for the third straight night, Ma calls and wakes me from my shallow sleep to say she's hearing a strange voice coming from the woods behind her house again, louder this time, and she is scared. I've been telling her it's just an animal, maybe a heartbroken skunk who has lost its mate, but she is past the point of listening.

“Come listen, Benny,” she says. “Someone is singing out there. I'm not crazy. I can hear perfectly well.”

“It's just an animal, Ma.” I keep my eyes closed. I yawn. I've been sleep-deprived for a long time myself, for my own good reasons.

“I can't hear you, honey. Take off your mask.”

I remove the sleeping mask connected to the oxygen tank Dr. Peikart prescribed for the apnea Dr. Lupi diagnosed three months ago after Dr. Adamczyk watched a video of me sleeping, which showed I had stopped breathing seventeen times within six hours.

“If we don't get some sleep soon,” Ma says, “we'll die from insomnia.”

The we includes Oscar, her goldfish, who is sensitive to stress. When Ma can't sleep, Oscar gets nervous and swims in manic circles.

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Medium 9780861967254

Chapter 22

Tony Grey John Libbey Publishing ePub

He goes to the wagons with Ting Ting toddling along behind. Meilin is awake with her mother and Ping sitting beside her. In times to come he can barely remember the happy haze he was in let alone the events than ensued over the next days and weeks. As in a dream he tells Meilin about the consent, sees her leap out of bed into his arms, and hears the whoops of joy from her mother and Ping.

Any fear he had that Meilin wouldn’t want to live in this remote place with no great fortress or even a mansion, evaporates when she speaks of its beauty and peacefulness. They’ll be together in a home they’ll build within the shadow of the mountains, far away from stultifying society. Her parents will visit sometimes; it’s only a week’s journey along the Road from Lanzhou. They might even go there themselves at some point. And caravans will pass by bringing news of the outside world. They’ll be in an idyllic universe of their own, untroubled by the pressures of conventional life.

He walks over to his comrades who are lounging around their tents and calls them together. Rather shyly he tells them of the marriage and with a gleam in his eye points out that it could be a precedent for all of them to follow if they wish. Gan has said there are plenty of marriageable women in the environs.

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Medium 9781574412796

Chapter Sixteen

Jane Roberts Wood University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Sixteen

1

Mary Lou stands in the bedroom doorway of

Anne’s house. Tony stands behind her, his hand on her shoulder.

Arms folded, her forehead creased by a deep frown, she gazes at the blue bundle in the middle of Anne’s bed. Only the baby’s head is visible. The head is covered with a light brown fuzz. Is this Echo’s baby? she wonders. But how could it be? His face is haughtily, disdainfully turned away from the side of the bed where she stands. I can’t believe this. Echo, hardly more than a child herself, a mother?

And not in a million years has she ever thought about being a grandmother. Her eyes narrow, her lips tighten. She straightens her shoulders and walks into the room. Slowly she eases herself onto the bed and, propping one hand on the side of the bundle, leans forward to see his face. Shaking her head in wonder, in disbelief, she puts her hand into the blanket that swaddles him tightly as a sausage. Feeling his warm body she carefully unwraps him. He opens his eyes and stares at her. He yawns and carelessly waves one tiny hand in the air.

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Medium 9781574416473

How to Make an Island

Polly Buckingham University of North Texas Press ePub

Edith is leaving. Her friends are having a party for her on a boat. She invited me because we're always together and because she's scared of boats. She said she'd feel safe if I was with her. All around us is gray water and gray air. Fog moves among the coastal mountains. In the distance are low islands.

I haven't been on a boat in many years. I like the rise and fall, the openness. The rocking makes Edith a little sick, but she covers it up well. Her left hand, hidden behind her back, grasps the low edge of the boat. There are a few things in this world I forever return to. The rock of a boat on water, the smell of salt and air, the noise of waves against something hollow. And a few forbidden places where I take shelter. Like Edith. Like Cayo Pelau.

When I was twelve, my best friend Mac and I had planned a boat trip to the pirate island Cayo Pelau. It was cursed. My parents didn't want me sailing that far, but my father was going away, and Mac was staying at my house while he was gone. My father was going to the hospital to be with my mother. Then he was going to bring her home. I didn't know exactly what they were doing to my mom. I didn't really want to know. But that she was dying was clear. And that she was coming home to die was certain.

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Medium 9780253002365

Chapter Forty-Six

Gregory Schwipps Indiana University Press ePub

Ollie was home now, and worn out from work, but still he sat in his parked truck and smelled deeply of the plush upholstery. What did they call this material? Who cared. It was soft, deep blue, and smelled like the factory. Damn, this thing was sharp inside and out. Driving a new pickup made a man feel like he’d swallowed about a hundred lightning bugs and they were doing their darnedest to light him up from within. He’d keep up on the oil changings and greasings and tell the women not to eat their chocolate-dipped cones in here. The guy who’d owned it before had taken care of it, for all the 27,535 miles he’d driven it. And now it was Ollie’s, still under factory warranty. Pretty much brand new. If they gave him half a second, he’d come out here and wash it thoroughly after supper.

He walked onto the back patio, the bricks still uneven and lined with grass pushing up through the cracks, and paused before going inside. Even dusty, that blue metallic flake was a damn sharp color. He pushed through the back door.

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Medium 9780861967254

Chapter 15

Tony Grey John Libbey Publishing ePub

The wooden palisade, its entire length set alight by the flaming arrows, is receding into charred stumps, and the town that was to be Jir-Jir’s permanent residence is slumping into a shapeless mound that will soon be abandoned to oblivion. A senior officer comes up to the Han Commander in Chief and says,

“Colonel Chen, during the battle we saw something curious outside the gate on the eastern side of the town. It seemed like a giant creature covered in fish scales. When we looked closer, it was a group of soldiers with round eyes like Sogdians but in uniforms we’ve never seen before. They’re there now. I counted them. There’re a hundred and forty-five.

“During the battle they showed a lot of discipline, holding their formation stubbornly against our attacks. They may look odd but they’re impressive soldiers, and big, taller than our men.”

The officer leads Chen and other senior commanders over to the Romans. A detachment including Gan and Kang goes with them. The legionaries are silent and still, holding their shields with the bottoms on the ground and their swords pointing down. They’re passive but ready to defend themselves. They expect to die and intend to charge a high price for their lives. It’s what honour demands.

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Medium 9780253006653

Twelve

Gilbert Gatore Indiana University Press ePub

214. Reduced to the most extreme acquiescence, Niko still managed to preserve one uncontrollable part of himself. In his nook, everything he was except for his physical body was blooming.

215. Far from this resilient bit of ground, where darkness covered him, Niko stared at the three people who arrived at the cave’s entrance one at a time, saw the ragged mummy, and, shrieking loudly, turned away from it.

216. The first one was Uwitonze, his now aged schoolteacher. Obviously spent, stooped over his cane, he’d waited to raise his head until he was right in front of the cave. Then when his eyes crossed the dark eyes of the monkey’s corpse, he wielded his cane as if to defend himself against the specter. It was the middle of the day and, sweating as much from the effort as from fear, he withdrew without lowering his cane, muttering something at the threat. Once he’d gained a little distance, he knelt down, undoubtedly to ask forgiveness for almost having blasphemed by crossing the entrance.

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Medium 9781574415650

The Year of Perfect Happiness

Becky Adnot-Haynes University of North Texas Press PDF

The Year of Perfect Happiness

A year of perfect happiness, just the sound of it, a single year locked away from the years before it and the years after it, happiness unburdened by nostalgia, perfect. . . .

—Kevin Moffett, “The Volunteer’s Friend”

Januar y

Winter in the city depresses Davis, the grimy slushiness of it, the graduated shades of gray that make up the street, the sky, the dirty snow banks. It is as if the gray trumps all else, Technicolor dragged through dishwater, drained of its brilliance. He can feel it seeping into him, the slow trickle getting into his brain, freezing him like an icicle.

“I’m moving,” he tells Angie over dinner—Angie, who is more than a roommate and less than a girlfriend—and she wrinkles her nose.

“No, you aren’t,” she says and stabs at her food with her fork.

He’s prepared tofu parmigiana for dinner; he and Angie have worked together to perfect his method of cooking tofu, pressing it before dry-frying it and then dipping in egg and breadcrumbs and sautéing. Tomato sauce and mozzarella are cooked on top, browned under the broiler.

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Medium 9781942496656

Chapter 42

Charlotte Jones Solution Tree Press ePub

As Shira walked back to her living quarters, she could not help but be frustrated with Conrad. Why did he want to leave the guard? Why now? Was it something she had done? Guilt and shame again flooded through her when she remembered what she had said in the dungeons, after he had forced her to surrender. She had not trusted him, even though he had done nothing but prove himself. Maybe that was it. Maybe he was finished with her. He had mentioned what Kaelo accused him of—what had he meant by that? Kaelo had accused him of much, and very little of it was true. Shira sighed and ran her fingers through her hair again. Why the Cloudic borders? He would be hours away from Eleora, from his family. From her. What could possibly drive him that far away?

When Shira walked into her bedroom, Tanwen was rearranging some of the perfumes, ribbons, and other small objects strewn across her bedside table. Tanwen jumped when she heard Shira behind her, and Shira laughed.

“What are you doing?” she said, looking over the girl’s shoulder.

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