Samantha's father has scales instead of skin. His blood is cooling, too, and he needs to spend the morning sunning himself on the front lawn. She watches him chasing the sunrise all over the front yard like it is a small child and he needs to protect it. Her father's condition doesn't seem to worry his doctors very much. He is old, has lived a good life, and all the doctors agree that turning into a reptile will eventually kill him, anyway. There isn't a lot they can do, they say, except wait and make sure he isn't in too much pain. Recently, her mother has expressed concern that maybe the condition is a genetic one. Samantha is taken to the hospital once every two months for blood tests and x-rays. The tests seem to indicate that the reptilia is like an alarm clock waiting inside her until Samantha is slightly older and ready for it to go off. So far, she seems healthy; her skin is still soft and when her mother checks the sheets in the morning, they are warm and smell like sleep.
didn't just write lists, but itineraries: subway connections, necessary
arrival times, all mapped out in her head in what she hoped was the
most efficient way possible. It didn't mean she was anal-retentive or
obsessive or forgetful or even organized; it was just comforting.
CRIME SCENE PHOTO
She was overtired and her eyes were itchy and wet, her eyebrow twitched and she jammed the clean syringe between her toes, that wasn't the way to do it, she cried out, kind of a croaking sound and then a burst of happiness like a balloon swelling up too fast and exploding in her heart and she cried out again and smiled and her eyes rolled and she fell forward, belly squashed on thighs and breasts smushed on knees, forehead thudded to the floor and her fingers sprawled, and that was how they found her, purple and white, after gravity had pooled the blood under her skin.
#00391 OF 01177
in an evacuated shopping mall, walking along the rows of unlit stores
with a baby who does not seem old enough to hold himself up, but who
nevertheless is able to keep right in sync with my every stride. He
saunters like an experienced cowboy.
being smoked now by a burly man in a big truck and we're heading toward
Kentucky. I can't wait to get to Kentucky. A lot of my
threw a grape into the water below, and watched the gentle current
swallow it, spit it up, then swirl it downstream. She continued
dropping pebbles into her pocket, their weight comfortably beating
against her thighs.
man had approached so silently she hadn't understood his intention. She
had been admiring the stream's muted gurgling when he put her on her
back, her head rutting into damp black river dirt, pebbles embedding
themselves in her shoulder blades.