Her fingers. They are like creeping spider legs, spindly and skeletal, reaching out towards you, pleading and desperate.
MORGAN QUINN, BRIDGET CLEARY’S FINGERS
Our girl first notices the wolf on a warm summer day in Detroit. She is walking along the river, having wandered away from her friends at a local club for a cigarette break. Truthfully, she quit smoking months ago but still uses it as an excuse to duck out of social gatherings she didn’t want to be at anymore.
Once upon a time a man had three daughters. No wife, not any more – he’d plucked her from the village like a delicate flower, and hill-farming’s a hard life – but she’d left him three bundles of laughter who chased crows from the farmyard and sheep across the fells.
First, do not get your hopes up. While statistically there are likely to be accumulated matches, lost socks have long defied established data.
The girl named Minus can start hands with her fire. She strikes matches against her skin to light them. As they burn, the flames don’t sputter. They’re overconfident for their size, conical little jets of fire like what comes out of the end of a blowtorch.
You keep yourself alive on the moon by weaving cloaks of hare fur.
When your hare was alive, it bounced from side to side at your feet, and you would always reach down to rub its head. The people on Earth call it yutu, Jade Rabbit. Just as they call you Chang’e.
He wakes, pushes himself up to rest on his forearms, his pale shoulders jutting like scallop shells. He blinks against the blur– blue water, to no avail. Everything moves in flux, rippling in slow time. Whispers dance around him, muted echoes ebb and flow. He blinks again, tries to focus, but the world remains a curved and fluted half-dream.
Kate and I don’t go down to the village very often, we have everything we could want here at home and could have anything delivered. But when she becomes so restive it virtually causes the air to hiss, I give in, and we cut what should be a three-hour drive across the dusty plain down to one.
The first person to contact the police was Mrs Melville, of Barnacle Crescent. She told them that she passed by the houses every day but had never noticed anything amiss. Mrs Melville didn’t know any of the residents of this neighbouring suburban street, but she knew that they always kept their gardens very tidy, and had nice cars and neat window dressings, so she could think of no reason for them to be anything other than polite law-abiding citizens.
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Growths start. Spreading out from the point of contact: lumpy knobs that flatten out into palms, with knuckles on one side and heart lines on the other. The palms fold out into jointed fingers as she draws the flame back, reaching forward for the match, ending in nails.
SEAN NOAH NOAH, SOLID WALL BUT THE WALLIS MADE OF
HANDS BUT THE HANDS ARE MADE OF SHEETROCK