rtperson (joined over 13 years ago)


Bocci. Bocci ball. Bowling on a lawn. That's what I was doing in that old photo. But strange. Usually you bowl with other people. Usually there's markings on the ground, a target ball to shoot from. In the photo, I'm just standing there in the middle of the lawn, facing the house. My house? God, I don't know whose house that is. It could be a field house, or a club house, and I'm playing bocci, a game I don't know how to play, have never, as far as I'm aware, ever played before in my life, and I'm hunched...

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One hundred and eighty thousand pounds. Sterling. Sitting on her dresser, in tight little wads of cash. One hundred and eighty thousand pounds is a lot of money. Hell, before today, one thousand was the absolute maximum I had seen in any one place at one time, and that was in the hands of Stu, the dealer, and he was just flashing it around to show off. One hundred eighty thousand? It damn near crowded everything else off the dresser. And she was just, what, going to leave it there?

"Where's this from?" I asked.

"You know where it's from."...

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100 feet away. That's where I was when the car crashed through our fence. I was watering the yard, and I thought I was watching the kids, but I had my back to them. We live on the highway. Four acres stretch out behind us. Plenty of space, I figured. But the last owner built right up against the road, the better to show off the building. I wasn't looking. I wasn't thinking. There was Bill, eight years old, all skin and bone and muscle, and he's teaching six year-old Jenny how to toss a football, only she can't quite...

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My feet ached, but it was well worth it. There was blood on one of my insteps, the left one, and when I walked around the floor I tracked her blood around with me. The room, nothing more than an abattoir, had fit the bill perfectly. There was the pen I'd led her to. I said nothing more than, "You'll like it. It's the spookiest little spot." And she had crawled inside without the least hesitation. And as soon as she did so, the smile left my face, and the grimace reappeared, and I thought, "This is for all those...

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The wind blew across the plains, picking up clods of dirt as it ran past, and I gripped my son's shoulder, as if by some instinct. Soon the dust would blow through the cracks in our log cabin, and the kitchen -- the tiny corner we called the kitchen -- would soon fill with what looked for all the world like soot. That we could take. The ground and the wind had been trying to kill us for years. We were used to it. But lately we'd had to contend with spiders. Tarantulas. Tough sons of bitches that put their...

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When the truck pulled up into the yard, I looked up from breakfast. It was a large truck, sort of a cross between a utility van and an ice-cream dispensary, and its tires bobbed over the curb, causing it to lurch from side to side. It drove right over our sapling, sideswiped the large maple, crunched into the center of our magnolia bush, and finally stopped over top of the fire hydrant, knocking it out into the intersection. I could see the driving compartment fill up with water, and pretty soon thereafter the windshield split off from its frame and...

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Headphones on, gazing far out into the horizon, the tops of the Adirondacks at her feet, flowing out into the valley like waves, going for miles. He was behind her. Her father had fallen on the path up to this point. He had clutched his chest and complained of shooting pains down the arm, but she hadn't listened. She was at that age, the precipice of adulthood teetering before her, and she was certain she no longer needed to listen to her father, not about this, not about anything. But when they reached the crest of the hill, she looked...

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