It sounds harder than it actually was. Hannah helped me make it. Her dark, sad eyes so serious and focused behind the wire-rimmed glasses she always wore, her slender fingers tracing the passages from the Bible. A long time ago, God gave instructions on how to build a tabernacle for him to inhabit. That story made us wonder: if the infinite can be confined to a building or a tent or a room, then why not a box?
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The moonlight was muted and scattered by the mist above the loch. A chill breeze stirred the white tendrils to a sliding, skating motion upon the water’s surface. Staring into the dark depths, Randy smoothed his jacket several times, then stepped forward. He pursed his lips to begin and discovered that his throat was dry.
Sighing, almost with relief, he turned and walked back several paces. The night was especially soundless about him. He seated himself upon a rock, drew his pipe from his pocket and began to fill it.
You couldn’t describe a rath. You couldn’t even look at one for more than a few seconds before you started getting a migraine aura. Rovers were just blots of shadow. The breeder was massive, armored, and had no recognizable features, save for its hideous, drooling, ragged edged maw. Irizarry didn’t know if it had eyes, or even needed them…
Izrael Irizarry stepped through a bright-scarred airlock onto Kadath Station, lurching a little as he adjusted to station gravity. On his shoulder, Mongoose extended her neck, her barbels flaring, flicked her tongue out to taste the air, and colored a question. Another few steps, and he smelled what Mongoose smelled, the sharp stink of toves, ammoniac and bitter…
“Yaakov, why don’t you ever cry?” I asked him the day we buried my uncle’s family.
He shrugged. “Maybe you carry all the tears for both of us, Anna.”
I thought he might be right. In the past month I had cried again and again. I had wept through the night of hiding in the root cellar among the onions and potatoes and jars of pickled vegetables, my face buried in our mother’s skirt. We emerged in the morning to discover the Cossacks had burned down the barn with all of our animals trapped inside. I cried again for the goats. We didn’t even know yet that our cousins down the road had suffered the same fate. Our two older siblings took their turns calming me, but I took the most comfort from Yaakov’s stoic face.
10. _Influenza siderius_ begins as a general malaise. That is always the first symptom. Perhaps you wish to doze on the sofa, but your husband suggests a little fresh air instead. You do feel better after the walk, but by the next morning the listlessness has returned tenfold. Your husband complains when you order takeout instead of making the pot roast, but you feel too tired to care.
It looks like a quantity of strawberry jam squeezed into a cheap polythene shower cap. Even down to the darkened pips and the intimation someone’s attempted to pick it up and squished it in the middle. Clint adjusts the telescopic sight and tilts his head, upping the magnification, but knocking the thermal readout to the off position. He can feel the heat from here, so it’s safe to say that the temperature is outside the usual parameters.