New Stories from the Midwest 2012

By John McNally; Jason Lee Brown et al. | Go to book overview

Eight
Starry Night

Lania Knight

JAMES IS WAITING ON THE GRAVEL BAR throwing stones, and I’m face down, floating on the top of the water looking for crawdads. I can feel every rock slap the surface. I’m watching them fall to the creek bottom. But I pull my face out when I see James’ two white feet beneath me. He manages to shove me under anyway. He’s the only cousin I ever get to spend time with. And he sucks.

I’m sorry, he says. Okay?

No! I scream it at him. Asshole! Ein Sheisskopf!

Where’d you learn that word, he wants to know.

As if I’d be stupid enough to admit that I know some German. That I’ve been studying online while he’s been busy living in Göettingen on his dad’s chemistry fellowship.

Everyone knows that, I say.

He squints at me. Can I borrow those?

I tell him no but then I hand him the goggles anyway. He puts them on and goes underwater but doesn’t stay long. After accusing me of having a watermelon head, he has the nerve to ask if I’ll adjust them. I take them and pull the stretchy rubber strap, trying to think of some way to extract payment from him.

So, how do those German girls kiss?

Don’t be stupid.

You don’t even know, do you?

-94-

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New Stories from the Midwest 2012
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Editors’ Note xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • One - Mr. Scary 6
  • Two - To Psychic Underworld 22
  • Three - Townie 32
  • Four - The Amnesiac in the Maze 47
  • Five - The Deep 56
  • Six - Circling in the Air 72
  • Seven - Down to Bone 83
  • Eight - Starry Night 94
  • Nine - Peter Torrelli, Falling Apart 104
  • Ten - In Which a Coffin Is a Bed but an Ox Is Not a Coffin 117
  • Eleven - Drunk Girl in Stilettos 131
  • Twelve - The State Bird of Minnesota 146
  • Thirteen - The Five Points of Performance 156
  • Fourteen - The Baby Glows 170
  • Fifteen - Splendid, Silent Sun 172
  • Sixteen - Miscarriages 185
  • Seventeen - American Bulldog 198
  • Eighteen - Twelve- + Twelve 206
  • Nineteen - A Dry Season 221
  • Twenty - Schnecks 234
  • Thirty- Other Distinguished Stories 243
  • Contributors 245
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