Duplex, by Kathryn Davis

Now the streetlights came on. It wouldn’t be dark for a while yet, though the sky already felt like it was filled with coming darkness. Miss Vicks had gotten up from the bench and was preparing to cross the overwide section of road between the lot and the holly bush at the foot of the street, waiting by the curb to let the sorcerer’s car pass. She was pretending not to notice him, to keep her eyes cast down as if intent upon her dog, but he could feel the force of her interest. The sycamore trees were taller now, full of nests; the street was lined with parked cars and the sorcerer was driving too fast. He always drove too fast, not because he was in love with speed but because his mind was somewhere else.

Tonight the sorcerer’s mind was on Marjorie Vicks— dear old Vicky—whose presence in his life had aroused a problem neither one of them could have anticipated or understood the full implications of. The problem already existed, its dark taproot extending deep into the future, its immense bloom already a thing of the past. Their affair had been a mistake, the sorcerer thought. A little breeze blew open the door of the Darling house, letting out lots of children. The sorcerer drove over a pothole; a shadow leaped from between two parked cars. It was twilight and there was the sound of a bump. The papers on the back seat came flying in a white fan around him.

He turned off the engine. How could this have happened? The community association had tried and failed to impose alternate side of the street parking. Some people had too many children and some people didn’t have enough. There was no question the street had too many cars. The sorcerer stepped out of his car and looked to see if anyone was watching. There were procedures for fixing things like this but the last thing in the world he needed was an audience…

Read more in this week’s Little Star Weekly!

Kathryn Davis’s seventh novel, Duplex, will be published by Graywolf in September. She’ll be reading all over! Go have a listen:

Sunday, September 1st @ 2:30 PM / AJC Decatur Book Festival, Decatur, GA
Monday, September 16th @ 7:00 PM / Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
Wednesday, September 18th @ 7:00 PM / Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN
Wednesday, September 25th @ 7:00 PM / Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
Sunday, October 6th, panel @ 12:00 PM, reading @ 2:00 PM / Wordstock Book Festival, Portland, OR
Monday, October 7th @ 7:00 PM / Elliott Bay Book Co, Seattle, WA
Wednesday, November 6th @ 7:00 PM / Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO







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