Female spotted owls have a call that doesn’t sound like it should come from a bird of prey. It’s high-pitched and unrealistic, like a squeaky toy that’s being squeezed just a little bit too hard. Lots of people who hear them in the woods don’t even realize that they’ve heard an owl. They assume it’s a bug, or a dog running wild through the evergreens, beloved chewy bone clenched tightly in its jaws.
Karron leaned over the rail of her boat, the Tarik, and watched the meteor shower from its reflection in the river below. The bright streaks of light looked like underwater fireflies and the Ring more like a soft blue disk, a monochromatic rainbow that ruled their lives in constant reminder of how broken the world was. “Water, water, everywhere,” she murmured to herself.
-pop- The sharp scent of ozone — sudden like heartbreak, raw as a panic attack — filled Hannah’s dorm room, from the paper-swamped desk across her rumpled bed to the window overlooking the quad. The lights flickered. Her heart skipped a beat. “God damn it.” She prodded Nolon’s foot with the toe of her shoe. She wanted […]
Stephanie Ilogu knew the Southern Ocean was supposed to be cold. Lars had been battling to cool the ocean since Stephanie was seven years old. If my teeth chatter, I’m disrespecting my husband’s success. Maybe I wouldn’t think so much about my numb feet and face, or the dank sogginess leaking into my hair through my watch cap, or how much cold air leaks in under this huge parka, if I had something to do besides listen to my husband and his ex-wife make history together.
She was in the laundry room, bent over a basket of Benjamin’s muddy trousers and grass-stained T-shirts and particularly odorous socks, when a rap sounded on the screen door. She didn’t hear at first; she’d noticed, bent over there, a cluster of webbed, purplish veins just below her thigh, beside her knee. She didn’t like seeing them there. They were like a slow-moving car wreck, those veins, a little darker, a little more severe each time she looked.
At 35,000 feet over the Indian Ocean, Lee Pao Nelson paused to re-evaluate his life. There was plenty of tangible evidence to score himself by. It was his thirtieth birthday, and here he was in first class, a piquant glass of merlot on the tray table in front of him, leather upholstery underneath him, his understated Joseph Abboud suit shrugging off the wrinkles.
There is music in the stars. The stars, the planets, the asteroids, the galaxies. Everything that is flung, whirling in orbit through space and time. We dwell inside an enormous, ever-changing symphony, and each of the many universes sings a song of its own. I replicate them.
Coming back from my Wilderness Week, I sat by an odd sort of man in the bus. For a long time we didn’t talk; I was mending stockings and he was reading. Then the bus broke down a few miles outside Gresham. Boiler trouble, the way it generally is when the driver insists on trying to go over thirty. It was a Supersonic Superscenic Deluxe Longdistance coal-burner, with Home Comfort, that means a toilet, and the seats were pretty comfortable.
The winds blow pretty regular across the dried-up lake. Traction’s good — when luck’s on your side you can reach three hundred KPH or faster. Harper watches the hot rods race on thick white salt so pure and bright the satellites use it for colour calibration. Harper doesn’t care about souped-up hot rods.
There is evidence that Joan of Arc was a man. Accounts of her trial state that she did not suffer the infirmity of women. When examined by the prelates prior to her incarceration, it was found that she lacked the characteristic escutcheon of women. Her pubic area, in fact, was as smooth and hairless as a child’s.