The October Country
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Haunting, harrowing, and downright horrifying, this classic collection from the modern master of the fantastic features:
THE SMALL ASSASSIN: a fine, healthy baby boy was the new mother's dream come true -- or her nightmare . . .
THE EMISSARY: the faithful dog was the sick boy's only connectioin with the world outside -- and beyond . . .
THE WONDERFUL DEATH OF DUDLEY STONE: a most remarkable case of murder -- the deceased was delighted!
print of the brightest, loudest skirt she could find to put on especially for tonight, in which she had whirled and cavorted feverishly before the coffin-sized mirror, beneath the rayon skirt the body was all wire and tendon and excitation. Her teeth chattered and fused and chattered. Her lipstick smeared, one lip crushing another. Joseph knocked on the door. They got ready for bed. He had returned with the news that something had been done to the car and it would take time, he’d go watch
listened to her heart. It beat one hundred and fifty times a minute, steadily, and the little whining tremor was still in her marrow, as if each bone of her body had a blue-bottle fly imprisoned in it, hovering, buzzing, shaking, quivering deep, deep, deep. Her eyes reversed into herself, to watch the secret heart of herself pounding itself to pieces against the side of her chest. Water ran in the bathroom. She heard him washing his teeth. “Joseph!” “Yes,” he said, behind the shut door. “Come
blue light bulbs withdrew like dying stars, the open, dark country night of Louisiana swept in around wagon and horse. There was just Charlie, the horse timing his gray hoofs, and the crickets. And the jar behind the high seat. It sloshed back and forth, back and forth. Sloshed wet. And the cold gray thing drowsily slumped against the glass, looking out, looking out, but seeing nothing, nothing. Charlie leaned back to pet the lid. Smelling of strange liquor his hand returned, changed and cold
cocoons, all of us. See how ugly I am?” she said. “But one day I’ll break out, spread wings as fine and handsome as you.” “You broke out long ago,” he said. She thought it over. “Yes,” she had to admit. “I know just which day it was, too. In the woods when I looked for a cow and found a tent!” They laughed, and with him holding her she felt so beautiful she knew their marriage had slipped her from her ugliness, like a bright sword from its case. They had children. At first there was fear, all
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 99-9488 1 ISBN-13: 978-0-380-97387-3 ISBN-10: 0-380-97387-1 Epub Edition © MAY 2013 ISBN: 9780062242259 10 QGP 10 9 8 7 6 About the Publisher Australia HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty. Ltd. Level 13, 201 Elizabeth Street Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia http://www.harpercollins.com.au Canada HarperCollins Canada 2 Bloor Street East - 20th Floor Toronto, ON, M4W, 1A8, Canada http://www.harpercollins.ca New Zealand HarperCollins