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.
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...
Everyone thinks my thirteen-year-old sister can predict the weather.
Aiden weighed 104 pounds and the gap between his front teeth seemed to widen every time he checked with his tongue. He had a place that belonged to him in a private and warm way: Byhalia, Mississippi.
She could barely make him out. He—she was certain the figure was a he—was a fleck, a disturbance on the horizon, and—this was another certainty—he was coming her way.
Jack slowed the orange VDOT truck, lurching to a stop in front of the carcass on the side of Route 603.
Reina was six years old when her father took her up the long winding mountain road to see the dying Giant.
We started with the little things: scraps of junk, things of no import or stuff we could do without.
Legend had it, if you left your truck running in the alley behind the Thunderbird Motel, laid a ten-dollar bill on the front desk, and asked the clerk for a cherry donut, a woman would appear and take you to her room.
Sarah never said it, but she agreed with the other kids that riding on the bus over Meredith Moore’s skull felt like riding over a big rock.
The pineapple was flying! It paused at the pinnacle of its arc, weightless, and then began its descent—slow, sinking, faster, faster—finally landing with a thump into the tall grass beside the road.
Walking through the courthouse, Newman felt like an alumnus on a campus visit. Both at home and out of place. A collision of past and present.
The cantaloupe a friend gave us sits on the table. My father, who’s visiting from California, says, “It’s like a pumpkin waiting to be carved.”