AB Intra

Tucked into a copy of War and Peace, the list had been folded, secreted, cherished. A possible joke to some in its physical concreteness, as if they were naïve enough to need a map. “Look at us, we’re pirates, here’s the buried treasure.” — FORMAN

The weird thing is, this means I’ve been wearing my clown makeup all day without realizing it, and nobody’s looked at me funny. I’m not sure what this proves. Charlene will later say she assumed I was making a statement. — WARNER

It would take all the way until Sunday morning for us to lose and then find our boy, who, as it turns out, only wanted to make nice with the displaced spirits of the Indian caves. — RANGNO

I thought of the way the light used to hit the dome of the Vakil Mosque at sunset, and of the flowers that our next-door neighbors had planted the year after their son had left for Paris and never come back, the father on his knees at all hours, whispering to the petals as if they were Allah’s emissaries, capable of bringing back his boy. — TAYYAR

It is 1973, and she is not of this place. She likes the customers because they don’t know she’s from Whittier. They don’t know she’s not a pure being of shining light like Father or Galaxy. Standing before them in her shabby robes, fizz of hair catching the golden sun, she looks like she belongs here. — MANOLAKAS

A neighbor comes home from work one day to find a pregnant woman floating on a pink raft, belly-up in her backyard pool. There is talk about whether this qualifies technically as a theft because the pregnant woman brought her own raft and didn’t really steal anything except the ingredients to make a drink from the neighbor’s cabinet. — GREENBERG

She worked as a waitress at the Seafood Broiler, and when she served families with kids, especially younger ones whose chins barely grazed the top of the glazed table, their eyes huge at the circus sight of lobsters and crab legs and corn on the cob that she set in front of their parents, she couldn’t not feel tender to them. — LANSDOWN

Some suggest that Cioran never really died or that this man is Cioran’s identical twin. Others say he appeared from a wormhole, drove a 1992 Buick Roadmaster onto the grandstand, or descended by parachute while snacking on kettle corn. Some claim all three geneses as fact. — GREENE

Today, the internet newly lights weird archival recesses in my own middle age as it does those of this country’s, like swamp gas. From it, recently, the historical record of my father’s hijacking, such as it is, has become “present” for me to contend with. — KONGSHAUG

I could feel only the confinement of every choice I might make — freedom would be all the things I didn’t do with the money — and the more intolerable confinement of the things I would never do with the money because I was the person I was — for example, talk to homeless people or let a stranger touch my feet. My twelve hundred dollars could not disturb the universe. — WYSS

The raw story, the recovered memory, must be worked and worked, torn down and reconstructed before it can begin to conform to the desires of the teller. The more it satisfies, the less real it is. “What is happening” cannot be explained. — AMDAHL