Aiden rests his chin on the back of the living room couch, watching his older brother mow down zombies . . .
As the clock struck midnight, ushering in my fiftieth birthday . . .
Trees creak in the steady wind rushing off the foothills.
Trustafarians dash from coffee shop couches into the streets to spin like bearded dust devils, worshipping the wind. They call the winds chinooks, just like the locals, not that they’ve met many of those. Rare birds, those locals.
“I’m going to be an entomologist,” Isabelle says. Her dress doesn’t have a pocket, or she’d have brought one of her pets. Her hands feel empty.
We were pressed against the back wall behind a tangle of dresses and hangers, the Boone’s Farm in our stomachs rising against the reek of moth balls.
A year after the explosion, the shell fragments pushing through Hobson’s skin are slow torture.
Alone on a sidewalk, a young girl dances slowly through the silent snowfall.
Ms. Solevacj was in the middle of her 72-lap morning mile, the early sluggishness in her muscles burned off, leaving her feeling strong, a machine gliding through the water. This was why she swam, to reach this Zen-like headspace, her mind and body simultaneously relaxed and stimulated. In this state, and only in this state, she could think clearly, almost calmly, about the Smiler virus.
We’re loaded down with tampons and pads, and Mom’s heading straight for the cute checker’s lane. Seriously? I’d die if I had to stand there while he rung us out. It’s obvious, right? I totally get it, she’s distracted, sad about Lance and all that, but right now we’ve got bigger issues. I steer her toward the old lady’s lane.
I’m sitting against the flaking bole of a laurel tree, cooling down after hiking up the mountain, when a little man drops from the canopy above.
The restaurant was empty, the lunch rush over,
and I was buffing down tables in hard circles—Ryan
had just moved in with some stupid cow he met at a
club—when a heavyset middle-aged woman
sporting gigantic shades came in.