When the woman's face contorted and she clutched the railing for support, we knew she would die for this was a film with the set trajectory of fiction.
When she looked down at the birthmark on her leg, it did not seem out of place like a blemish. Rather like a landmark on a loved terrain. She had always answered "no" with a touch of indignation when people asked if she had burned herself. But when she saw her bare leg in the mirror, the red splotch surprised her. From the alien perspective it appeared extraneous.
The measure of fear is the distance between an event and its mental representation. Small doses were sometimes taken for pleasure. Distortion locked in the funhouse and tickets sold.
Her month old son would really watch her now, she hoped. After three days she should seem 'strangely familiar.'
The old architecture.
Hands wandering netherworlds. A sense of self starts in the mouth and spreads slowly.
pacifier. Lost again and
crying because empty.
"He's just a baby."
"He's just hungry."
"He's just scared."
The poor vacuum!
as best he can
Her elderly father said the baby looked "like a wise little old man."
He predicted her child would be male. His motive was obvious. He insisted this baby would look Irish as he did--himself reborn in a form she must love. She hated such transparency. "When have your hunches paid off before?" she asked. She planned to give birth to a girl who resembled her husband's family or, perhaps, no one at all.An utterly new countenance. When a grandson was born who did resemble him, her erstwhile hostile father grew doting. A superstitious streak she fought against made it difficult not to accept the prophecy entirely now, with all its implications.
Furthering the story.
'the ends of the species'
Driving imitated sanity.
Blurred gargoyles shrank into the past.
Why should she notice or care?
When her husband was late she imagined him dead. Now that he had a son, she feared, he could be killed on the highway.
"Everything's a message," her friend said. And her son's birth injury must be a sign, symbol of some weakness in her thinking or her life.
crying because lost. The growing
fibers of desire cannot
locate. . .
Fuss Balloon. Squirm Bag. The hero's nicknames described unexpected animation.
In the Bach fugue it was difficult to know which theme was the traveller with whom one should identify. One's self
In his old age he went mad. Any stress, including the imminent operation, returned him to an incident that occurred during WWII. The 'Japs' had torpedoed his ship and it had almost sunk. Now, whenever he got agitated, he would yell, "We're taking on water." This idea was like a painted screen let down between himself and the particulars of his danger.
The French reserve a special past tense for fictions.
She seemed to enjoy each new crisis as if it were a complication in the plot of a comedy, a mere detour en
route to the happy resolution she was still expecting 'after this'
old 'after this'dear 'after this'
read the author's Bio and Working Notes
go to "Through Walls"
go to this issue's table of contents