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H. E. Francis

H. E. Francis has published five collections of stories, some of which have been anthologized in O. Henry, Best American, and Pushcart Prize volumes. [1989]


12.1 Cover


Mar 01 1989

A Flight of Bones

He can almost not sleep now. Nod, yes. Doze. Latch onto an easel or drop his head for minutes on a worktable, then squint, stare at the canvas. The figures, myriad infinitesimal hairs of color, fill a great eye reflecting them. Around the eye is nothing. He will get to that, yes. That’s always what he is to get to. He raises his head. The bright light behind sends his dark shadow before him, raises his head too. Then his hand makes a dark bone moving. He loves motion. He stands and his shadow rises into the painting, a dark blight, and totters, weak. His stomach is alive with sound. But he has even less desire to eat than sleep. His desire now is only to move. He wants to see motion, where it leads.

5.1 Cover


Sep 01 1981

A Disturbance of Gulls

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.