Thursday, April 24, 2014

Theme: Short Story

  • The joke of it is,” Henry kept saying, “the joke is that there’s nothing to leave, nothing at all. No money. Not in any direction. I used up most of the capital year ago. What’s left will nicely do my lifetime.”Read more
  • The other day I saw a wedding ... but no, I had better tell you about the Christmas tree. The wedding was nice, I liked it very much; but the other incident was better. I don't know how it was that, looking at that wedding, I thought of that Christmas tree. This was what happened. Just five years ago, on New Year's Eve, I was invited to a children's party.Read more
  • Eleven years have passed since the town of Bruneville was founded on the banks of the Rio Bravo, just a few miles up-river from the Gulf. It was named after Ciudad Castaño, the legendary shining city to the northwest, which was razed by the Apaches. In appropriating the name, Stealman aimed to trade on the sterling quality of the original. Read more
  • Just as the thirteenth year of my life started, the Iraqi-Iran war began. Before it was even a year old, my oldest brother was killed and one of my cousins was taken as a prisoner of war. That is when I began hearing my father curse “Mr. President” whenever he found himself alone with my mother in the orchard, kitchen, or bedroom, or as she milked our cows in the pen.Read more
  • In a corner of our country not far removed from two of its great cities, there is a low range of mountains, the hoary evidences of ancient volcanic action. Countless years have elapsed since the great tide of molten lava rolled over the region. Years fewer, but still countless, have passed during which the shattered and tilted remnants of the lava sheets have watched over the land. Deep gorges divide the masses into separate mountains, lonely and desolate, and the most desolate and the most conspicuous of all is the West Peak.Read more
  • After his second heart attack, the judge knew that he could no longer put off informing his wife about the contents of his will. He did this for the sake of the woman he had been keeping for twenty-five years, who, ever since his first attack, had been agitating about provisions for her future.Read more
  • An elder sister came to visit her younger sister in the country. The elder was married to a tradesman in town, the younger to a peasant in the village. As the sisters sat over their tea talking, the elder began to boast of the advantages of town life: saying how comfortably they lived there, how well they dressed, what fine clothes her children wore, what good things they ate and drank, and how she went to the theatre, promenades, and entertainments.Read more
  • They destroyed our radios and televisions to leave us without images, without those maudlin songs that lulled our past to sleep back when we still believed in trainsRead more
  • That night at Natalie’s in Paris, Olga was wearing her most boyishly cut jacket and a low-waisted skirt so she’d be ready if someone asked her to foxtrot. But before any of that could happen, before the dancing, before she could remove her jacket or display herself at her flexible best, he came up to her and touched her on the arm. Why the arm? Read more
  • Perhaps it was the middle of January in the present year that I first looked up and saw the mark on the wall. In order to fix a date it is necessary to remember what one saw. So now I think of the fire; the steady film of yellow light upon the page of my book; the three chrysanthemums in the round glass bowl on the mantelpiece. Yes, it must have been the winter time, and we had just finished our tea, for I remember that I was smoking a cigarette when I looked up and saw the mark on the wall for the first time. Read more
  • I don't want to be like a fruit that is small, round and has a bland taste. I like being written into poems but when someone does that I feel shy but also ridiculously euphoric. I have been using the same perfume since I was sixteen years old. One of the flats I rented in Hong Kong had a leaked ceiling and tropical rain came through the cracks like drizzles of piss.Read more
  • Next door to the embassy is a health center. On the other side, a row of private residences, most of them belonging to wealthy Arabs (or so we, the people of Willesden, contend). They have Corinthian pillars on either side of their front doors, and—it’s widely believed—swimming pools out back.Read more
  • Before I could say yes, I’d be right there, he said, “We’re in the middle of a crisis here,” and that’s how I knew—that word, crisis, which I associate more with adults than children—that he was talking about him and Diana.Read more
  • A man in Monte Carlo goes to the casino.Read more
  • It was Lao Lan who invented the scientific method of forcing pressurized water into the pulmonary arteries of slaughtered animals. With this method, you could empty a bucketful of water into a two-hundred-jin pig, while with the old method you could barely empty half a bucket of water into the carcass of a dead cow. Read more
  • Ann’s old friend Theresa seems to have gone a bit crazy. She shows up on Ann’s doorstep after six — she promised when they made these plans that she’d arrive in time for lunch — and is bedecked in garb that Ann, in their fifteen years’ acquaintance, has never seen the likes of: a loose poet’s blouse cut low enough in the front that her large breasts are thrust obscenely forward; skin-tight, trendy-looking bluejeans that flare at the bottom over an expensive pair of fawn-colored cowboy boots.Read more
  • Some years ago my husband and I rented an apartment in Paris to celebrate our twentieth anniversary. On the morning of the afternoon we were to leave I packed, putting our clothes and books into two suitcases. I stashed our money and other documents in a leather wallet with many compartments, some hidden within others.Read more
  • Save him … was the only thought occupying his mind as he rode in. “He is the last of the noblemen, even if he doesn’t quite seem to know it himself these days.” “If he doesn’t know it, can he be all that noble?” replied the ass. “Surely nobility would imply that you know what you were doing!”Read more
  • When we started for our drive the sun was shining brightly on Munich, and the air was full of the joyousness of early summer. Just as we were about to depart, Herr Delbruck (the maitre d'hotel of the Quatre Saisons, where I was staying) came down bareheaded to the carriage and, after wishing me a pleasant drive, said to the coachman, still holding his hand on the handle of the carriage door, "Remember you are back by nightfall".Read more
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