741 Chapters
Medium 9780253223432

Chapter 12

Jim Cohee Indiana University Press ePub

Chapter 12

Dad’s favorite athlete was Billy Pierce. Mike’s was Sherm Lollar. Mom’s was Althea Gibson, the shy American newcomer who triumphed at Wimbledon in 1957 and who had once found it difficult to find a doubles partner. Mine was right fielder Rocky Colavito.

I went to my room and pulled down Raymond L. Ditmars’ Reptiles of the World. I wanted to check the cobras. But if you touch one book, you have to touch them all, so I put Reptiles on the desk and walked around the room touching all the book spines.

Mike said, “There’s a fungus among us.”

Dad said, “She was the seamstress’s daughter, but she couldn’t mend straight.”

Mike laughed.

Mom said, “You shouldn’t say that.”

Dad said, “Oh, c’mon.”

Mom said, “He’ll just repeat it.”

Mrs. Menard has a plated hide and a back ridge with iron flagstones. If she doesn’t like what Mr. Menard says, she swings her spiked tail at him and goes whap!

I ran the path around the swing set in the side yard. I had to get to Dawson fast with Buck and the team, and I called out “Ha!” and “Gee!” Snow flew off the runners. Sheets of red and green shook in the northern sky. Far off, I heard the sobs of wolves. Arctic air iced my lungs. Black trees in the snowy fields—preceptors of treachery, silent sentinels of icy demise—black trees watched me pass.

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Medium 9781574412406

7. Girls

Aimee La Brie University of North Texas Press PDF

66

WONDERFUL GIRL

would feed them and name them and then I’d come home from school one day, and the animal would have disappeared into thin air. That was one thing. But a little girl was something else entirely.

That afternoon, my brother Michael was bouncing a tennis ball on the side of the building, thwack, thwack, and I was inside cutting out paper dolls from the newspaper. What you did was draw a figure with a colored pencil—a big circle for the head and a long body with two arms ending in Raggedy Ann hands and two legs with patent leather shoes, then you transferred the outline to a piece of typing paper, folded it in half and cut it out— that way, you got two girls for the price of one.

The little girl’s name was Crystal. My mother pulled her into the kitchen with a “Tada! We’re going to take Crystal to visit her

Dad in Illinois, won’t that be fun?” A crust of snot covered the girl’s upper lip, her hair was a clump of greasy dishwater-colored curls, and her breath piped through her nose. She had a wet cough that erupted from the deep well of her chest.

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Medium 9780253002365

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Gregory Schwipps Indiana University Press ePub

It’d lightly rained at some point during the night, and now Ollie’s sleeping bag felt heavy and moist. The sun was just strong enough to heat up the damp bedding and make it stink like wet feathers. His back ached from sleeping on the steel truck bed, and his eye throbbed. As he pulled himself out of the sleeping bag, everything he touched was wet. Soon he was chilled and miserable.

When he looked around, things appeared as they had the night before—he was near the entrance to some sort of park. While it seemed public enough, there was no gatehouse and, apparently, no patrolling rangers. He’d been seeing signs for the Daniel Boone National Forest, and he thought he was close to it, if not smack-dab in it. The only other thing in this small clearing off the road was a dumpster, and he’d heard something bump against it in the night.

But he’d slept all the way through and survived his first night on the road. He knew the open road was a bitch and that he’d be forced to earn her respect. Last night surely earned him some, although he’d paid dearly for it. He stepped to the ground in his sock feet and felt the moisture soak through them. His dry clothes were in the cab, but it’d be tricky getting dressed in there. He’d done it, of course, and his mind went to Summer. By now she’d be missing him. He hoped she was, anyway.

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Medium 9781574412994

Waiting

Jane Roberts Wood University of North Texas Press PDF

268�

Out the Summerhill Road

Waiting

Theo will call Betsy. It will be Betsy, or possibly Gaynor, since he had fallen all over himself paying attention to her during the meeting at the bank. As the women wait, the days grow shorter. Colder. A week passes. Then another. And still Theodore White has not called.

As Gaynor waits she finds herself constantly seeking her lover’s presence. At the animal hospital, she assists as he examines and treats the animals, and she is by his side during surgery and there when he consoles clients whose animals are quite ill or, at times, about to undergo euthanasia. And in bed at night, she curves her body, spoon like, inside his. Preparing for lactation her breasts grow firm and tender so that when he caresses them, kisses them, she suspects that he knows.

How could he not? He must know. A veterinarian treating all animals?

It’s a chilly late September and Bill makes a fire in the fireplace and comes, bringing breakfast to her bed. “There’s a nip in the air,” he says. “Stay in bed awhile.”

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Medium 9780253016881

The Processed Cheese Product Man

Edited by Michael Martone and Bryan Furu Break Away Book Club Edition ePub

The Processed Cheese Product Man

Sunday is clear and the night comes on warm and pleasant. Monday a yellow chariot clatters into town. It is a double-wide.

An awkward introduction. (It will be a story worth telling someday.) As a newcomer, Amos is jumpy about his jumpy laugh. Does it frighten others? Are the locals going to say it’s a cackle? The term cackle holds character implications. Amos considers: Do I carry a strange and sour odor on my clothing, hands, on my hair?

A tall man with a small tomato balanced atop his derby hat arrives at the chariot. He removes the derby, bows, hands the tomato to Amos, and says, “A man of conceptuals like you needs to see the Mayor.”

On the way to the Mayor, the tall man chatters along like a squirrel: “Processed Cheese Product now. A lot might be done with Processed Cheese Product, eh? It’s almost inconceivable. I mean to think about it. The conceptuals of you and the Mayor thinking about it. There would be a new classification, you see. It’s interesting, eh? It’s conceptuals, like I said. Wait till you see the Mayor, he’ll get the conceptuals. He’ll be interested. The Mayor is always interested in the conceptuals. You can’t be too smart for the Mayor, now can you? Of course you can’t. You know that.”

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