I felt no fear, though my legs were thin, hardly bigger than the barrel of the gun, and my arms were strained. I felt no fear at the prospect of shooting this man, of watching his body crumple, then dragging the corpse inside, quickly so the heat didn’t escape from the house.
And the girls are always smiling, their shoulders
encased in graduation black
or bared down to the peeled-back petals of the
Everything the old woman said was true.
Then she suffered a heart attack and died in Ruth’s arms.
Any writer who takes Henry James’s advice seriously, “Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost,” will end up, sooner or later, looking for the hidden story—hidden because nobody was listening for it, and because the water is rising, and because there but for the grace of God go you and I.
“He wanted to get out of his head,” she said,
“so I told him to write about his mother’s nipples.”