In 2018

First Lines

  1. When Saul dies, Simon is in physics class, drawing concentric circles meant to represent the rings of an electron shell but which to Simon meant nothing at all.
  2. Millie Gerdavey cheated on her boyfriend again.
  3. ‘Mary? Hey, Mary, here’s that girl artist I was telling you about.’
  4. In a room for women whose bodies are broken, Eivør Mínervudóttir’s biographer waits her turn.
  5. Fate came for Dottie Epstein a year earlier, in the form of a call to the principal’s office.
  6. My wig slumps on my desk where I have tossed it like flattened road kill.
  7. A strange fear crept over Berlin in early 1943.
  8. My mother was raised on fairy tales, but I was raised on highways.
  9. Nora glances at the clock above the classroom door.
  10. Lale rattles across the countryside, keeping his head up and himself to himself.
  11. They came for Luke that night.
  12. The thing i later remembered the most about the day the gunman came was my teacher Miss Russell’s breath.
  13. I am old.
  14. There are two kinds of people in the world, those who leave home, and those who don’t.
  15. “‘Look at you in your fur!’
  16. Deep, deep in the morning, sirens.
  17. Mandy stared at the photograph on her computer screen and held her breath.
  18. The bus to Oak Ridge was packed with other girls June’s age, along with a few soldiers and laborers in the back.
  19. When Ross MacLeod pulled the trigger and brought down the pheasant, he had no way of knowing he’d killed himself.
  20. It was late January, and New England wore a fresh coat of snow as I stepped along the gangplank to the shore.
  21. ‘Follow my lead, Miss Rook,’ Jackaby said, rapping on the ornately trimmed dor to 1206 Campbell Street.
  22. Mr. Jackaby’s cluttered office spun around me.
  23. To say that the house at 926 Augur Lane was not yet back to normal would be to grossly misrepresent the nature of the house at 926 Augur Lane.
  24. The new doctor took her by surprise.
  25. To Charles Stanton, there was nothing like a good, close shave.
  26. The prison was a vast, gray concrete monstrosity, surrounded by a razor-wire-topped chain-link fence.
  27. As I turned to lean my shovel against the rusted gray of the car, I looked in passing down into the grave I had dug, and saw there, along the face or wall, in trembling roots, the path I had traveled these several months taking the census in the farthest districts.
  28. I have an old black-and-white photograph taken in the 1920s of a woman at a traveling circus floating in a massive tank filled with water, blond hair billowing around her head, legs hidden by a false mermaid’s fin made of metallic fabric and thread to look like scales.
  29. In the minds of literate English men and women, as colonization began in the 1500s, North America was an uncertain world inhabited by monstrous creatures, a blank territory skirted by mountains of gold.
  30. Sing, O Goddess, of the fury Dyann Brooks-Morriss, teller of unbearable truths.
  31. She was aware first of the scent of the hotel shampoo, a Middle Eastern aroma reminiscent of anise, and then–when she opened her eyes–the way the light from the window was different from the light in the rooms in the hotel where the crew usually stayed.
  32. Death does not suit me.
  33. Finally, the car came to a stop.
  34. In rehab now — again.
  35. Responsible people do not take crotchless panties with them on business trips.
  36. The shrill of the cell phone jerked Fiona awake in the driver’s seat.
  37. “Nellie couldn’t say what woke her.”
  38. “The first shots ring out before dawn.”
  39. “In June of 1992, I left Boston for France with everything in front of me.”
  40. “It’s like that sometimes.”
  41. “‘All right, ladies.'”
  42. “It was a dark and stormy night.”
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