Ceremony (Chapter 2)

During the winter of my second year at the Institute, I suffered from terrible insomnia brought on my anxiety over an impasse in my research. I looked back over my seven years of study dreading that I would soon have to count them wasted, and the nights were empty of distraction; in its darkest quiet […]

Ceremony (Chapter 1)

Chapter 1 When I was a child, I sat in the evening light and picked at loose threads of my sweater, waiting for the voices to cease. The sweater followed the lines of the rainbow, but alternating with the colors were thick bands of gray. I told myself that if I reached the green before […]

Conference

They all knew of his instinct for mediocre success, but of all Allen’s colleagues, it was Tom who would discover his capacity for mediocre victory. Tom was surprised when he received an email announcing that Allen would be receiving the conference with him. He had known Allen mostly from coffee-break banter or from the occasional […]

Oak

The first arrow took a splinter of bone from the rib; the wound swelled, thickening with pus. The second provoked a spasm of the back. To those hearing the reports later, the imagination was kindled by the hope that such a pose, navel pining for the torturer’s aim, chest and groin arcing helplessly frontwards, represented […]

Aisle

What was next? The train, of course, and departure with haste. She smiled and he returned a grin from beneath a face shadowed in the thickening crowd, and then he turned to board. It waited beside him on the tracks, and as soon as he made his way through the aisle, its pistons stirred, hissing […]

Fortress

“I don’t like to speak about him in his absence. In his absence. Out of his presence. Now that’s he’s gone. To speak about him when he can’t speak for himself and couldn’t…” A sigh, a deep inhale of a cigarette; the dog to her side on the sofa kicked in its sleep; she threw […]

Solicitation

Their turning inwards, was that their mistake? The thought was that they could wean word from the world to which it was giving, and to which its misgivings and theirs belonged. Did they think that, like mid-wives, they might pluck self from self? They knew of word’s affection for spectacle, the celebrity appeal of whatever […]