By Anya Groner, with audio
When Etgar wasn’t there, June watched movies. Men had swords. Women had orange flowers clipped to dark dresses, hats brimmed like cymbals. Couples waltzed. Enormous leaves brushed their shoulders. Children, when there were children, held sticks and jumped naked into rivers. The couch curved beneath her, soft and buoyant and, despite the heat, when orchestra would get slow and melancholy, she’d pull a pink sheet to her neck and shiver. Even when she was alone, Etgar’s whispers echoed inside her. He called her precious. A firecracker. A fox.
By Shannon Sweetnam, with audio
Wet-suited, amongst the sea oats, Bernard wept for his mother, wishing she would find him before the sun set upon the shore. He hoped Sally would run his way if he happened to scream, if he and his mind were to become too fearful, though screaming itself was a fearful thing, and he did not want to scream and have Sally find him. He did not want that. He wanted his wispy haired, freckle-skinned, lavender-smelling mother. So he wept, quietly, while he waited, hidden among the sea oats, looking for signs of dolphins or sharks among the lumbering waves.