The Machineries of Joy, 1964
1. The Machineries of Joy, 1960
Father Brian delayed going below to breakfast because he thought he heard Father Vittorini down there, laughing. Vittorini, as usual, was dining alone. So who was there to laugh with, or at?
Us, thought Fathez Brian, that's who.
He listened again.
Across the hall Father Kelly too was hiding, or meditating, rather, in his room.
They never let Vittorini finish breakfast, no, they always managed to join him as he chewed his last bit of toast. Otherwise they could not have borne their guilt through the day.
6. The One Who Waits, 1949
I live in a well. I live like smoke in the well. Like vapour in a stone throat. I don't move. I don't do anything but wait. Overhead I see the cold stars of night and morning, and I see the sun. And sometimes I sing old songs of this world when it was young. How can I tell you what I am when I don't know? I cannot. I am simply waiting. I am mist and moonlight and memory. I am sad and I am old. Sometimes I fall like rain into the well. Spider webs are startled into forming where my rain falls fast, on the water surface. I wait in cool silence and there will be a day when I no longer wait.
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2. Tyrannosaurus Rex, 1962
He opened a door on darkness. A voice cried, "Shut it!" It was like a blow in the face. He jumped through. The door banged. He cursed himself quietly. The voice, with dreadful patience, intoned, "Jesus. You Terwilliger?"
"Yes," said Terwilliger. A faint ghost of screen haunt-ed the dark theatre wall to his right. To his left, a cigarette wove fiery arcs in the air as someone's lips talked swiftly around it.
"You're five minutes late!"
Don't make it sound like five years, thought Terwilliger. "Shove your film in the projection room door. Let's move."
5. The Vacation, 1963
6. Drummer Boy of Shiloh, 1960
7. Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms in Your Cellar! (Come into My Cellar), 1962
8. Almost the End of the World, 1957
Sighting Rock Junction, Arizona, at noon on 22 August 1961, Willy Bersinger let his miner's boot rest easy on the jalopy's' accelerator and talked quietly to his partner, Samuel Fitts.
'Yes, sir, Samuel, it's great hitting town. After a couple of months out at the mine, a juke-box looks like a stained-glass window to me. We need the town; without it, we might wake some morning and find ourselves all jerked beef and petrified rock. And then, of course, the town needs us, too.'
'How's that?' asked Samuel Fitts.
4. Perhaps We Are Going Away, 1953
5. And the Sailor, Home from the Sea, 1960
6. The Golden Kite, The Silver Wind, 1953
"In the shape of a pig?' cried the Mandarin.
"In the shape of a pig," said the messenger, and departed.
"Oh, what an evil day in an evil year," cried the Mandarin. "The town of Kwan-Si, beyond the hill, was very small in my childhood. Now it has grown so large that at last they are building a wall."
"But why should a wall two miles away make my good father sad and angry all within the hour?" asked his daughter quietly.
"They build their wall," said the Mandarin, "in the shape of a pig! Do you see? Our own city wall is built in the shape of an orange. Thai pig will devour us, greedily!"
6. El Dia de Muerte, 1957
7. The Illustrated Woman, 1961
8. Some Live Like Lazarus, 1960
9. A Miracle of Rare Device, 1962
10. And So Died Riabouchinska, 1963
11. The Beggar on O'Connell Bridge, 1961
12. Death and the Maiden, 1960
Far out in the country beyond the woods, beyond the world, really, lived Old Mam, and she had lived there for ninety years with the door locked tight, not opening for anyone, be it wind, rain, sparrow tapping or little boy with a pailful of crayfish rapping. If you scratched at her shutters, she called through:
"Go away. Death!"
"I'm not Death!" you might say.
But she'd cry back, "Death, I know you, you come today in the shape of a girl. But I see the bones behind the freckles!"
5. A Flight of Ravens, 1964
6. The Best of All Possible Worlds, 1963
The two men sat swaying side by side, unspeaking for the long while it took for the train to move through cold December twilight, pausing at one country station after another. As the twelfth depot was left behind, the older of the two men muttered, "Idiot, Idiot!" under his breath.
"What?" The younger man glanced up from his Times.
The old man nodded bleakly. "Did you see that damn fool rush off just now, stumbling after that woman who smelled of Chanel?"
"Oh, her?" The young man looked as if he could not decide whether to laugh or be depressed. "I followed her off the train once myself."
5. The Life Work of Juan Diaz, 1963
6. To the Chicago Abyss, 1963
7. The Anthem Sprinters, 1963