In 2017

First Lines

  1. I offered my hand to the fire.
  2.  “The morning light glittered on the glass windows and on the blades of the guillotines in the central square.
  3. On my deathbed I shall remember that April day if I remember anything at all.
  4. The waters of Lake Wilhelm are dark and chilled.
  5. You’re still alive in alternate universes, Theo, but I live in the real world, where this morning you’re having an open-casket funeral.
  6. On the rare nights that she sleeps, she is back in the skin of the woman from before.
  7. It took seven years to get the letter right.
  8. It’s a lovely little flat, the letting agent says with what could almost pass for genuine enthusiasm.
  9. ‘Murderer!’ They shouted.
  10. The first time I meet Patrick Braddock, I’m wearing his wife’s lipstick.
  11. ‘I was going to say something,’ he said.
  12. A doorman ushered me toward the historic garden court inside the Palace Hotel, the sequins on my gold shift dress catching the light.
  13. Fame would strike someone, usually the kind that healthy-minded people would not wish upon themselves, such as being kidnapped and kept prisoner for years, humilated in a sex scandal, or surviving something typically fatal.
  14. People usually didn’t say anything when they returned their tapes to the Video Hut: in a single and somewhat graceful movement, they’d approach the counter, slide the tapes towards whoever was stationed behind the register, and wheel back toward the door.
  15. I know, long before Noah parks in the newly paved two-car driveway, that this is not a house I want to own.
  16. On our wedding day I was forty-six, she was eighteen.
  17. It was an unusually hot weekend in mid-June and sweat pooled along Luke Hadley’s spine as he lay on his stomach on a blanket in the front yard.
  18. The man behind me is standing close enough to moisten the skin on my neck with his breath.
  19. “One time, a boy kissed me and I almost died.”
  20. “Like any Chicago tavern in deep summer, Joe Mulligan’s stank.”