Fiction Spring 2011
"Today he stayed home from school because he told his mother he didn’t feel well and she believed him. It had been more than a week since he was taken to the emergency room for the snakebite and, even though he’s fine, his mother still was being extra careful with him, as if he were now somehow more susceptible to danger."
"He’d been gone for months, working in Dublin she said, but he never came home, not even for Christmas. Besides, everyone knew he’d only taken off after the mayor’s son had been left for dead with three bullet holes in him and the Gardaí came in over our back wall and smashed in the kitchen door. They’d upended the table and knocked a pot of soup over the floor. But they hadn’t caught my da. When I was a man, I’d be quick as him, and as fearless."
"Kate made a pleased little noise down in her throat when they opened the bedroom door, and laid her long limbs on the plump mattress. She wriggled, shaking out the seven hours on the train, the three on the ferry, and the bumping taxi ride across the island. She threw her half-smile at Andy as he stood in the doorway."
"Every time I see those dinosaur stencils on my desk it brings me to that second-to-last time we saw each other, sitting in the basement of our favorite bar..."
"Then there was the neighbor Diane, whose husband had just left her, and her child Katie. Ugh, someone said, here's Katie again. Tedious. Child's upsets - bitten by a cat, abandoned by father and grandfather: what impact do these actually make on the main character?"
"I wrote a story about a middle-aged man who, just as he was about to die, discovered the Meaning of Life. Hathaway said it was an admirable effort, but that I should take a look at Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilyich.” He suggested I try something a little less ambitious. Did he think I could become a writer, I asked. Hard to say, he answered. You just have to keep trying."
"If she put on her glasses and looked carefully she could see that the original lump, which she had at first thought was cancerous, had turned into a perfectly formed head, neck, and shoulders. His skin was tight and it had a good color, quite unlike the wrinkled and folded flesh of the abdomen surrounding him. For the moment at least he was a mere parasite, not an independent being."