My essence, my soul, whatever you wanted to call it, burst into that place beyond places. After dozens of trips, the ecstasy of the reverse-explosion was as intense as the first time.
Beatrice’s heart skipped and skipped again, the tiny pistons clattering in their brassbound prison. Her ribs ached, and there were narrow darts of pain throughout her chest. She was dying.
This is the incomplete story of Paints, grandson of Paints No More. It begins in shadow. Like this: As far as reincarnation goes, I became a believer on the day that I found a dead mole in my Gran’s stuffy one-car garage. The old Volvo had obviously run the mole over, or at least its back half; the head and forearms still looked ready to rise and crawl away.
Begin at the beginning: His many hats. Felt derbies in charcoal and camel and black. Sporting caps and straw boaters. Gibuses covered in corded silk for nights at the theatre. Domed bowlers with dashingly narrow brims. The ratty purple silk top hat, banded with russet brocade, that he keeps by his bedside.
The courtiers and servants did their best to conceal the truth, but that was a losing battle. The final straw, so to speak, was when their beautiful young queen managed to elude her Ladies in Waiting and greet the South Islands Confederation ambassador while wearing only a skirt made of broom straw and a gardenia pot for a hat. After that incident there was little point in denying the obvious: Mei Janda II, newly crowned Queen of Lucosa, was barking mad.
Of course it would rain. Hungry and footsore after three days of walking, his back and shoulders aching from carrying his heavy pack, all Malik needed now was to be soaked in water that barely resisted becoming ice.
Sometimes I set stories in San Francisco because I have friends who live there. No family yet, sadly. I like to imagine them reading what I write and maybe smiling. I’m setting this story in Tokyo-Tokyo for the same exact reason. Greg, for one, lives in Tokyo-Tokyo.
There was a game we played at my primary school called “Giant in the forest.” Every day, even if it rained, the fourth and fifth grade teachers took us to this small playground with a jungle gym, swings, and a big grassy space where we could run if we wanted to.
She was being chased. She kicked off her shoes, which were slowing her down. At the same time her heavy skirts vanished and she found herself in her usual work clothes. Relieved of the weight and constriction, she was able to run faster.
Ten years ago, Clara had attended a creative writing workshop run by Karen Joy Fowler, and what Karen Joy told her was: “We are living in a science fictional world.” During the workshop, Karen Joy also kept saying, “I am going to talk about endings, but not yet.” But Karen Joy never did get around to talking about endings, and Clara left the workshop still feeling as if she was suspended within it, waiting for the second shoe to drop.