Her bare legs were pale blue as if her blood had frozen inside. He lifted her head with his hand. Her eyes were closed. Willard Heald thought, I knew she was a girl with good sense to close her eyes in dying. Then the postman's stomach emptied out and he sat down hard on the bank of the stream in pine needles. In his mind's eye he summoned his verdicthow one of the summer boarders had stolen into her bedroom in the night and he knew too well how she had lain there stone coldlandlocked, he thought, as Garnerand how she had alighted through the forest singing under her breath, "Let it be known that this will always be my home, let it be known that this will always be my home," for the woods still carried the echo.
"A girl drowns in Garner," he continued reading as if he had not met his wife's eye. "A girl drowns to escape the modern world. We shall hold fast to our own. The peccant future shall not taint her."
From Garner by Kirstin Allio, pages 11-25. Copyright Kirstin Allio 2005. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of the publisher, Coffee House Press.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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