For the past five days, as the cruise ship Venusian languorously travelled the Mediterranean from Barcelona to Venera, the weather had been perfect: bright blue skies tempered by the occasional white cloud with not a hint of rain; never dipping below fifteen degrees centigrade at night, never going above twenty-five in the daytime; a steady breeze that carried the mesmerizing aroma of the sea. […]
You were familiar to me. Not as familiar as the town I grew up in; no one could ever be that familiar. But I smelled and saw you everywhere. You had a bowl cut like the Beatles. It made me laugh. You were not attractive until I saw you up close.
I came home one night from a party, my breath whiskey-soaked. You were sitting on my couch like you belonged there. […]
I would be fat for three more hours. Not a look I normally used.
But this was a special case, and I needed every advantage I could get.
Especially given the timeline. I'd been warned this room would lock down in two hours Three, at most. Still, I took a moment to scan the room, gathering and noting identities, on and offgrid. […]
High growing season is no time for running around in the dark. Going out after dark, there are wild dogs, badgers, all kinds of hungry things. The bugs alone can drink a quart of red liquor and leave welts all over. The ticks lounge in the grass, just waiting, bobbing like divers on a board, for all us walking by. […]
My family didn't come from medicine men or anyone like that. But I always leave a taste out on a napkin for the spirits anyways. I always went to the dances, too, when I lived back at home. You have to let your negative emotions rise like smoke. And I always carry a pack of cigarettes, just in case. […]
The littlest mermaid has no mother. She lives far under the sea, so deep that the fish have gone strange for want of light. Her eyes are large and round and black. She had sisters once, but now it is only herself and her grandmother, her father’s mother. […]