In the Land of the Dinosaur: Ten Stories and a Novella

In the Land of the Dinosaur
On the wall of the Halley Bus Company, there is a map of the twisting route the school bus takes, picking up and returning the children of our area on its daily run. But the inner sense one has of this wide sweep of country is simpler than the map line. Make the bridge the starting point and the route is a plain loop which climbs and broadens toward the west and turns at the top, the loop pinching back on itself like a word bubble in a comic strip. It retreats from the house where Lawrence Lugar lives with his wife, Lawrence whose main wish in life has been that his son farm his land. Read more…

“The Home of the Wet T-shirt Contest”
The headlights and moon dimly lit the creek road as she drove. It was quiet, a place like church where you sometimes found a silence that had a shape. June slowed the car to a stop and unrolled the win­dow. She listened. Then she felt something as much as she heard it, a slow, dim rumble that came through the earth. Thunder? An earth­quake? She sat a moment longer. Then, with a growing apprehension, she rolled up the window and went on. Read more…

A Marriage in the Life of Faith Davenport
        “J. B!” She was pounding on his back. “J. B.!” She was screaming. What was he doing, a man that took everything like he thought he was a saint or something and she was supposed to live with it? No. She wasn’t anymore. The thing that had kept grinding against itself for the whole of her marriage had pulled loose.
       “You fight him!” Faye was hitting J. B., the back of her fists banging his shoulders like she was playing a drum. “You’re a coward, J. B. You’re for sure not a man. You’re a man that’s got no children.”
         And even that. Read more…

Anthony Martin Is Dead
It was said there was a question of foul play. It was true the boy was not a strong swimmer. He was barely a swimmer at all, having come from the kind of family where lessons in swimming, in tennis and piano, are not a part of growing up. In fact, he was hardly a boy. At seventeen he had pushed at manhood, his body already lengthened and broadened toward full maturity. Read more…

Violin Song
It was Gabe Jones’s fate that the women in his life were music lovers. His wife, Lissy, was, and his mother and grandmother: Sonia Lindholm Jones, star singer in the Lutheran choir, and Francesca Caratini Lindholm—war bride from Salerno who, Italian or not, fixed lefse and made sausage like anybody’s grandmother—Francesca, singer for the Catholics. Read more…

The Battle
      “How’re we going to do this, Quentin?”
      “We cut that pigeon out of the flock and get him started. Treat him like a cow.”
      “He’s twenty feet up in the air.”
      “He’s suspicious. Look at him quiver. Stare at us, you fat thing!” Quentin had crossed the barnyard, and he was climbing over boards and hay bales, his breath coming fast. Read more…

The Killing
At his son’s birth, Montgomery Bly guided his crowning head, felt the wet contours of his body, but it was his eyes he wanted to see and read, though he could not. He was a soft, purring baby—Jonathan—wondering, wonderless. Seeing him in his mother’s arms, Montgomery remembered snow falling through stars while a mare stayed in the softness of the pasture and the moonlight to watch. Read more…

Audio Excerpts Read by Emily:

In the Land of the Dinosaur
A Marriage in the Life of Faith Davenport

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