Cover

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pp. C-C

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Destination Known

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pp. 1-8

IT WAS NOON and Margaret was sitting in her car in a parking lot watching a teenage boy dig through a dumpster. She had convinced herself that by the time he found whatever he was looking for she would be able to start the car and drive home. Ever since her apartment had been robbed, she’d begun...

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For Sale by Owner

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pp. 9-22

BY MORNING, my uncle was packed and ready to move. That afternoon I got a call saying he was passed out behind the wheel of his car in the parking lot at the Shop ’n Save....

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The High Month

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pp. 23-34

ADRIENNE BROKE INTO Richard’s car with a wire hanger, then she drove until the car was out of gas.
The tank ran dry near a highway on-ramp, about a hundred yards from a bar appropriately named the End of the Road Watering Hole. On the bar’s roof stood a wooden cutout of a cowboy...

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Edith Drogan’s Uncle Is Dead

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pp. 35-50

THE DAY AFTER I lost my job, my mother called and asked me to come over and put up some wallpaper. In the weeks since I’d moved back to town, I hadn’t visited home once. My excuse had been that I still needed time to get settled in the room I’d taken at a boardinghouse near the city limits. The truth was I...

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One Train May Hide Another

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pp. 51-58

WHEN YOU OPEN your eyes, you are unable to remember the name of the city you are in. You see a man walking a camel around the cars that are stopped in the dusty, crowded street. That should help to jog your memory, but it doesn’t. You consider asking your father where you are, then you think better of...

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Unemployment

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pp. 59-69

AS A FAVOR to my father, I was living with my brother. I’d been evicted from my apartment and sleeping in my car, but according to my father, I was the one who was helping Desmond out by moving in with him....

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Adult Books

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pp. 70-86

FRANKLIN LANDRY had a strong and even sense of the world, though in sixty-three years, he hadn’t seen how that had helped him. He wasn’t easily surprised–life in general had ceased to shock him–but when his landlord knocked on his door and asked him for advice, Franklin was dumbfounded. In...

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A Decent Night’s Sleep

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pp. 87-103

I HADN’T AGREED to anything, but by then, that was beside the point.
We were in Venice, staying in a hotel that had seen better days. Me in one room, my mother and her new husband Edgar in the other. Their room had a television and a view of the canal....

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Round Trip

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pp. 104-114

TECHNICALLY, CHRISTINE WAS off the clock, but she kept cruising around, hoping something would come up. She left the radio down low, that way she could keep tabs on Dawn, her niece, who was rummaging through the back of the truck. By the sound of it, the girl was breaking whatever she touched....

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In the City of the Living

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pp. 115-127

IT WAS NEIL’S idea to take the last ferry out. All we had in front of us once we got to the mainland was eighteen hours on the highway, nothing that couldn’t wait until the next day, but it was his car and he was driving....

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On a Clear Day

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pp. 128-133

DEIRDRE WAS ALMOST home when she remembered what her husband had asked her. She’d spent most of the afternoon trying, unsuccessfully, to think of what he’d said, then the memory came to her so suddenly that she nearly ran a red light....

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Future Tense

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pp. 134-146

I WAS IN THE bathroom at a bus station washing my hands when the guy next to me started to cry. It was a frigid evening in the dead of winter, 1978, and he and I were the only people in there. The guy was dirty and dressed in layers of ill-fitting clothes, clearly homeless, but he didn’t look quite as shabby...

Acknowledgments

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pp. 147-148

Back Cover

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pp. BC-BC