AB Intra

I didn’t ask to be whisked away as a baby to an uninhabited island, but I can’t deny that in spite of his quirks he has been a good father to me. He taught me the names of the constellations and has overseen my education with care, ordering home-schooling materials from a company in Utah and redacting the creationist parts before passing them along. — Sharpe

The world needed the big announcement, because there was still death and unhappiness and better-looking sisters and missed flights and NSF fees and the shame of avoidable mistakes and the memories of all such things — and what was Ezra doing? — Hammons

Shazaam crosses his arms. He wonders why he lives in a ship surrounded by sand. He strokes his goatee and considers going for a walk. He considers that perhaps inside each grain of sand, there is, however small, a lamp, inside of which is another ship surrounded by sand and another Shazaam. Shazaam feels very big and also very small. — Greene

It had been Dalton Pine’s ambition, unarticulated but nonetheless firm, to fashion his life as a vector of good, an indispensable presence on earth, a stopgap against the forces of disaster and decay, which marred the otherwise upward trending of human experience. — Rawson

Scuba said, “Now I want you to put down your gun and act like a little goldfish swimming around in your goldfish bowl.” The cop put down his gun and pretended to swim up and down the sidewalk. “It works,” Scuba said. “My mind control device actually works!” — Ridge & Bosworth

Transactions take longer in Greece because they aren’t considered mere transactions. Friction, one object rubbing against another, is a function of contact. Friction converts energy from work (something productive) to heat (something you feel). — Hatsopoulos

She hoped Papa’s friends had rigged the house: Propagande par le fait along the lines of her hero, Hryniewiecki. When the Russian officers opened the door, she dreamed the explosion lit the night brighter than the bonfires they’d made of her mother’s library. Brighter than a new dawn. — Preston

I have begun to have bad dreams. They are underwater dreams, subcutaneous dreams, dreams in which I am staring out through the transparent membrane of my own flesh through a glass I can’t break. It’s as if I am the marrow within my own bones, vitally alive and growing but trapped in a hardened shell. — Barrows

Rule number one about Adele’s life had always been: it does not concern you. Adele’s history was not like Passover — it was not a story of yourself. The ships, the bomb shelters, the boys who did terrible things: having wounded her, they belonged to her; they were not yours to reinvent. — Veltfort

Hannah never knew what to say — to admit she would never willingly attend a Bible study again would only bring more worry, more prayers, more passive-aggressive gifts of devotion books and greeting cards inscripted with Bible verses. She would never be accepted for who she was. — Hohle

She is an online celebrity. Her hair is long, dark, abundant. She could be one of the houris, the blessed virgins promised to suicide bombers who blow up buses and trains and checkpoints, but she’s after a more abstract infrastructure, a mode of thinking, a memory and vision of the world one way and not another. — Slaughter

The body’s fingers touch the words. The mind cannot tell: are they supposed to be here? Is the vanity-maker of poetic spirit? Or has someone scratched them into the marble? The mind wonders: who would do such a thing? And when? And why? — Bernard

What sort of planet will our poor kid inherit, the oceans frosted with single-use plastic, plant and animal species pushed to the brink of extinction on account of pollution, habitat loss, over-harvesting, and the overheated seas, the cod here already gone, scallops and urchins almost gone, lobsters pushed farther and farther north, jellyfish and other gelatinous sea creatures practically the only winners in the Anthropocene, and the powers-that-be and even the general citizenry not giving enough of a shit to do anything about it? — Furman

The so-called mountain men of the Western frontier, especially such lucid specimens as Harlon Gaddis, were not just the uncouth, thick-bearded recluses of lore; they were properly a separate form of life. Or better: A separate form of life struggled to come into existence in them. We may be assured that, in some cases, it succeeded. — Glage