The boy sits on his parents’ bed. His mother sits on the floor. Outside, a few soapsud clouds drift against the blue.
The first time I had a gun pointed at me I was 14 and I ran home crying, and my brother laughed at me, calling me burra, saying I’d better get used to it. I didn’t know if he meant getting used to seeing guns or getting used to being stupid.
Nothing has prepared them for the Colorado wind, which is no ordinary wind but a sudden, pugilistic wind as violent as any Atlantic gale.
After seeing an episode of Law & Order in which a mother murdered her infant child by forcing it to swallow a kitchen sponge, forty-one-year-old Todd Melkin was even more convinced that he had a tumor in his brain.
When Colin left the House for the first time after his last treatment cycle, he said he was “going to grab some air.”
Paul sat on the toilet and held his hand out the window, cigarette hanging from his fingers. Der Spiegel lay on his hairy thighs opened to an article about the European Union’s newest member states. And then he heard it.
By the end of my first month of piano, Miss Harry pretty much pronounced me void of rhythm and close to tone deaf but tried to be tactful in laying out my faults, not wanting to offend my mother.
Ben’s taking four residents to walk on the loose-dirt path behind the Children’s Home when they spot it: a grey parrot in a skeletal tree, the ribbon of a yellow balloon tied to its feet.
Lynn Drucker was the sort of woman who had made me reluctant to attend the group in the first place, and now she wanted to be my best friend.
Keep in mind, I was still new in town. I didn’t know people yet. I had no community here, no family. At a time when I needed to be seen, she saw me.
After Mom and Dad split up for the third time, Dad left immediately and Mom spent a record-breaking week in her bathrobe.
We took Emmaline on what promised to be a particularly stormy night. It wasn’t hard to do, especially since all the police and alarm company people were right there in the mob with us.
They could not afford the honeymoon Alicia wanted most — mossy-hilled Ireland or terraced, pastel Cinque Terre — but she managed to find a getaway closer nearby, in Cape Meares, that would still feel far from home.
Yael’s parents ask if she has any questions, and she does, but she suspects they aren’t the right ones. She wants to know if she will have two toothbrushes now or if she will bring the same one back and forth, its bristles wrapped in shredding tissue to keep from getting germy.
They’ve finally done it, found a way to kill us all. This is how my father greets me on the phone this morning. “It’s on Channel 7,” he says.
Sometimes PJ imagined herself as an embryo, floating in a tempered glass tube in a laboratory somewhere off the coast of northern California...
“We are made of star stuff,” Alex tells me.
Mwela has a lot of theories. He tells you about them each night after dinner, after the fish fryers have cooled and the last of the ugali is scraped from the tabletops...