Holding

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He had to turn wide to avoid hitting the large empty cardboard box they’d left in the driveway.  Marsha’s new refrigerator must have been delivered, which meant that her latest adventure in redecoration was nearly complete.

Scars

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His dog had bitten a child.  It was very late in the afternoon when Ted Landy stepped into the kitchen, closed the back door, and took off his gloves.  “I’ve seen the boy,” he said.  “It doesn’t look good.”

The Sound of Pines

Immigrants

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The first dead dog of the day was a shepherd that had been given a nosebleed by the car that knocked it into the weeds. The breed of the next one, thirty miles or so further on, was impossible to determine; it had been run over so often that it was flat and dry as a pelt.

A Father, A Daughter

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When I was six I loved my father passionately; hearts flew, as they say, whenever I saw him, and we were as chaste as teenage lovers in a forties movie.  At six p.m. he veered to the curb in his sky-blue Ford roadster: he wore a green bow-tie; he stepped off the running board with a heart shaped box of chocolate kisses and a bunch of violets in his hand; he gave them to me.

Keepers

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With a name like Emory he should never have left the South.  Growing up in Mobile had almost been enough.  The summer he was seventeen he decided to see it all before he left it.

Lieberman's Father

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Lieberman had his eyes on his chicken salad and so at first didn’t see the woman.  She stopped short at his table and stood, swaying a little this way and that, looking like a person who had just bumped into something and is wondering if she hurt herself.  To the people at the next table it was clear what she’d bumped into was Lieberman.

The Life of Howard

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One way to see it.   Flashing before his eyes.

Night Vision

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It is early when we go into my room, seven maybe, or eight.  In February it’s already dark.  I have turned the lights off in the kitchen, the front room.  China Blue is standing by my bed, dropping his shoes.

A Disturbance of Gulls

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That summer, he did not know–until he drove up to the summer house on the island and there was no one to come to the door and embrace and welcome him, no old man to surprise, first with the bark of his dog, Pal, then the scurrying of Shasta and the Whore of Babylon and the half-dozen other cats, no old man to bend over the kitchen table, his crippled fingers around the bowl he drank tea from, who would turn his quivering albino eyes up and squint, “Is it you?  You?” with the abrupt cough of his laughter and the joyful cackle in his throat–no, he did not know that it would be the summer of his pursuit.