Light Lifting: Stories
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Two runners race a cargo train through the darkness of a rat-infested tunnel beneath the Detroit River. A drugstore bicycle courier crosses a forbidden threshold in an attempt to save a life and a young swimmer conquers her fear of water only to discover she's caught in far more dangerous currents. An auto-worker who loses his family in a car accident is forced to reconsider his relationship with the internal combustion engine.
limit is unknown before it is reached. Very soon the prow, two hundred feet high, will emerge from the fog and it will part this water like the gargantuan head of an axe cleaving through. They are the native creatures of this place and the river is their natural habitat. Only the largest pass at night to avoid the complications of smaller boats. The propeller will be the size of a two-story house and the twin off-loading cranes will fold back like the wings of a resting insect. It will be a
just to keep you alive.” The snacks were all the same. There’d be a cool cup of tea with too much sugar in it and usually some kind of baked thing, a heavy piece of homemade pound cake, maybe, or a cold, rock-solid square with raisins in it that had just been pulled from a Tupperware container in the freezer. Probably a piece of cheese, too. I always tried to drink at least half the tea and eat half the square before getting up. I thought that was my part of the deal, like Santa Claus. Their
refused, just flat-out refused, to give up on their own places. From April to September, they’d be outside, digging through their gardens on their hands and knees and waving away the mosquitoes. And they still carved a pumpkin and had the candy ready for the trick-or-treaters, and lots of them even shovelled their own snow. It seemed like no blackness, no dirt or dust was ever allowed into their houses, that no rot or decay could even get a toehold. Eighty-nine-year-old Mrs. Hume, my number-one
he had the upper hand, he’d start pummelling away with these crazy exaggerated swings, piling on the furious, fake punches. “Take that and that and that.” It was like those fights you see on pro-wrestling. The big, hollow blows kept coming down but there was never any real force behind them. Even if one of us caught the other in a crippling figure-four leg lock or if we slapped on the sleeper hold or a killer iron claw – a grip so dangerous it was guaranteed to cause permanent brain damage – it
still there around the toe and heel from all the broken blisters I had to go through before my feet finally hardened up in the right places. When the announcer’s voice called us out, I took off my sweats and did a couple short sprints down the back stretch, trying to keep it all quick and smooth and under control. All the rest of the guys were there too and we did our usual nervous hellos and our cautious smiles as we passed one another. When they called us to the line, I came up behind Burner