‘The livingness of the rifle and the bullet and the death spasm and his own bright quickening blood: never would he forget.’
‘Night scratched at the window and seeped from the room corners. No other sound but rising river wind.’
‘Frequency of sex since marriage: zero.’ Sayaka Murata on a sexless marriage and the ‘Clean Breeder’ technique for pleasureless reproduction.
When Mrs Mehra leaves Delhi she retires in one of ‘the vast new satellite townships on the eastern fringes of the metropolis’.
‘Before I begin I'd like to say that I'll try to remember everything as best I can, though sometimes I know it won't be right.’
‘I thought I heard the woman next door crying’
‘And so began what I was to become. To all these things – the admonitions and the testimonies, the rites and the annunciations – I had easily acquiesced.’
COKE SMELLS COLD AND CHEMICAL LIKE THE INSIDE OF A REFRIGERATOR. It’s what back then smells like, now when she thinks of it.
‘Haji sahib, these kids are beyond me. I can’t teach them any more. Please make some other arrangement.’
‘I can hear the girl scratching a pencil inside a notebook. I don’t like it. I’ve asked her not to write about me.’
‘She would never know why she had done it. She was sleepless and strung-up and her better judgement had deserted her.’
‘He thinks he remembers Violet coming for supper, as she sometimes did, bringing with her a pudding which she set outside in the snow, to keep it cool.’
‘He had forgotten in the seminary how many distractions there were in the world.’
‘The next editor of the university newspaper was chosen each year by a panel.’ A new short story by Frances Leviston, from her forthcoming collection The Voice in My Ear.
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