Long After Midnight, 1976
1. The Blue Bottle, 1950
2. One Timeless Spring, 1946
3. The Parrot Who Met Papa, 1972
4. The Burning Man, 1975
5. A Piece of Wood, 1952
6. The Messiah, 1971
"We all have that special dream when we are young," said Bishop Kelly.
The others at the table murmured, nodded.
"There is no Christian boy," the Bishop continued, "who does not some night wonder: am I Him? Is this the Second Coming at long last, and am I It? What, what, oh, what, dear God, if I were Jesus? How grand!"
The Priests, the Ministers, and the one lonely Rabbi laughed gently, remembering things from their own childhoods, their own wild dreams, and being great fools.
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5. G.B.S. - Mark V, 1976
"Charlie! Where you going?"
Members of the rocket crew, passing, called.
Charles Willis did not answer.
He took the vacuum tube down through the friendly humming bowels of the spaceship. He fell, thinking: This is the grand hour.
"Chuck! Where travelling?" someone called.
To meet someone dead but alive, cold but warm, forev-er untouchable but reaching out somehow to touch.
The voice echoed. He smiled.
Then he saw Clive, his best friend, drifting up in the opposite chute. He averted his gaze, but Clive sang out through his seashell ear-pack radio:
10. The Utterly Perfect Murder, 1971
11. Punishment Without Crime, 1950
12. Getting Through Sunday Somehow, 1962
13. Drink Entire: Against the Madness of Crowds, 1976
14. Interval in Sunlight, 1954
15. A Story of Love, 1951
That was the week Ann Taylor came to teach summer school at Green Town Central. It was the summer of her twenty-fourth birthday, and it was the summer when Bob Spaulding was just fourteen.
Every one remembered Anna Taylor, for she was that teacher for whom all the children wanted to bring huge oranges or pink flowers, and for whom they rolled up the rustling green and yellow maps of the world without being asked. She was that woman who always seemed to be passing by on days when the shade was green under the tunnels of oaks and elms in the old town, her face shifting with the bright shadows as she walked, until it was all thing to all people. She was the fine peaches of summer in the snow of winter, and she was cool milk for cereals on a hot early-June morning. Whenever you needed on opposite, Ann Taylor was there. And those rare few days in the world when the climate was balanced as fine as maple leaf between winds that blew just right, those were days like Ann Taylor, and should have been so named on the calendar.
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3. The Wish, 1973
4. Forever and the Earth, 1950
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5. The Better Part of Wisdom, 1975
6. Darling Adolf, 1976
They were waiting for him to come out. He was sitting inside the little Bavarian cafe with a view of the mountains, drinking beer, and he had been in there since noon and it was now two-thirty, a long lunch, and much beer, and they could see by the way he held his head and laughed and lifted one more stein with the suds fluffing in the spring breeze that he was in a grand humour now, and at the table with him the two other men were doing their best to keep up, but bad fallen long behind.
2. The Miracles of Jamie, 1946
Jamie Winters worked his first miracle in the morning. The second, third, and various other miracles came later in the day. But the first miracle was always the most important.
It was always the same: "Make Mother well. Put color in her cheeks. Don't let Mom be sick too much longer."
It was Mom's illness that had first made him think about himself and miracles. And because of her he kept on, learning how to be good at them so that he could keep her well and could make life jump through a hoop.
4. The October Game, 1948
He put the gun back into the bureau drawer and shut the drawer.
No, not that way. Louise wouldn't suffer. It was very important that this thing have, above all duration. Duration through imagination. How to prolong the suffering? How, first of all, to bring it about? Well.
The man standing before the bedroom mirror carefully fitted his cuff-links together. He paused long enough to hear the children run by switftly on the street below, outside this warm two-storey house, like so many grey mice the children, like so many leaves.
4. The Pumpernickel, 1951
Mr. and Mrs. Welles walked away from the movie theater late at night and went into the quiet little store, a combination restaurant and delicatessen. They settled in a booth, and Mrs. Welles said, "Baked ham on pumpernickel." Mr. Welles glanced toward the counter, and there lay a loaf of pumpernickel.
"Why," he murmured, "pumpernickel. . . Druce's Lake. . ."
The night, the late hour, the empty restaurant - by now the pattern was familiar. Anything could set him off on a ride of reminiscences. The scent of autumn leaves, or midnight winds blowing, could stir him from himself, and memories would pour around him. Now in the unreal hour after the theater, in this lonely store, he saw a loaf of pumpernickel bread and, as on a thousand other nights, he found himself moved into the past.
4. Long After Midnight, 1963
The police ambulance went up into the palisades at the wrong hour. It is always the wrong hour when the police ambulance goes anywhere, but this was especially wrong, for it was long after midnight and nobody imagined it would ever be day again, because the sea coming in on the light-less shore below said as much, and the wind blowing salt cold in from the Pacific reaffirmed this, and the fog muffling the sky and putting out the stars struck the final, unfelt-but-disabling blow. The weather said it had been here forever, man was hardly here at all, and would soon be gone. Under the circumstances it was hard for the men gathered on the cliff, with several cars, the headlights on, and flashlights bobbing, to feel real, trapped as they were between a sunset they hardly remembered and a sunrise that would not be imagined.
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2. Have I Got a Chocolate Bar For You!, 1973