October 23, 2011 I'd been thinking of it so long it seemed like the only thing to do — to show my baby, who had eyes as green as water and whose name means the sea, the ocean.
October 22, 2011 Wren and Mark had a lot in common. They liked sweet potato fries more than regular ones and the movie Gattaca. When they were together, they drank white wine and hypothesized about passers-by. Gay or straight? Fat or pregnant? Homeless or hipster?
October 16, 2011 Darius Kroger had a talent for moving impossibly heavy objects. When he was a child he could haul a cast iron stove uphill, on one shoulder, as if it were a knapsack, or stack cows on top of one another half a dozen deep. As a young man, he once lifted a three story house off its foundations without upsetting the teacups on the kitchen table or the water in the upstairs bathtub.
October 15, 2011 When the woman fell from the sky, she survived long enough to utter one word: "crane." Later, we debated what she'd meant. The bird? The machine? The verb? A name? Someone even vaguely suggested that she'd gasped out a different word entirely. That maybe we'd misheard.
October 15, 2011 Sonya stared at the dust that kicked up when the SUV drove away. Dried leaves swirled in its wake. Her fingers, red and swollen from her shift at the slaughter house, plucked at the edges of a kitchen towel. What had the man said?
October 15, 2011 Later, the woman in the blue silk blouse would say that he stumbled. I would see her on the news, on the little wood-grained TV high on the wall in the hospital room. The stranger who grabbed for his elbow as he fell, who gave him CPR afterwards — later she would say that out of the corner of her eye she saw him stumble.
October 8, 2011 The first time I heard Mr. Cargould's full name was the day he won first prize in the raffle. I was down at the station for the drawing, hoping to take one of the cash prizes, but no, 20 tickets to Mr. Cargould's one, and it's his name Janice pulls first from the bin: "The Weatherby bolt action rifle goes to: Mr. Preston T. Cargould!"
October 8, 2011 "There's been a lot of turnover at that house," his mother, Patti, told her friend on the phone when the Lillers moved out. Forrest drew the house next door standing on its chimney with its wire- and pipe-filled crawlspace kicking in the air like a kid doing a handstand. Turnover.
October 2, 2011 "Please don't say that," Mommy pleaded. "You know it hurts my feelings." Contrary to her tone, she held a fixed smile that spoke to a larger contentment. Her skin appeared almost bloodless, virgin. One might say she never looked better. "I'll say what I want." Daddy, on the other hand, had seen prouder days.
October 2, 2011 Brilliant rays of piercing sunlight broke through the wisps of mystifying clouds in the morning. A train churned to a halt as travelers and passengers began to flow out. Somewhere, a bird answered the train's whistle with a song of its own. It was his first time here.