Inner City The ruination of the inner city was attributed to time’s proclivity for change. It lay abandoned, half buried in and half surrounded by the squalor of shanty towns. New settlements cordoning it on three sides seemed to avoid the shadow of its sunken grandeur. Streets connecting new colonies skirted off its periphery. Links … Continue reading Excerpt: Between Clay and Dust by Musharraf Ali Farooqi
Overcast and wet, the day dragged on forever. We huddled together in our “ladies’ room,” where Averchenko had joined us. As if by unspoken agreement, nobody said anything about our present concerns. We reminisced about our last days in Moscow and about the people with whom we had spent those last days. Not a word about … Continue reading Book Excerpt: Memories by Teffi
Close to Zero visits a rural “assisted living facility” that may or may not be housing subjects of a sinister government experiment. The security guard at the assisted living facility’s checkpoint, obviously not a local but someone who had been sent by the same program that had arrived with the document from Onishchenko regarding the … Continue reading Book Excerpt: Fardwor, Russia! by Oleg Kashin
The short ceremony was coming to an end. The young woman felt she was beyond tears, a hard block of insensitivity. A small crowd had accompanied her mother towards nothingness, close family, friends, strangers, some of whom came to introduce themselves: colleagues of the dead woman, members of associations to which her mother belonged, an … Continue reading Book Excerpt: She Was Singing (story) by Danielle Picard
If there are some people you don’t see anymore, it’s usually by choice. When he called, I didn’t recognize the voice and he refused to give his name. He said he had some work for me, paid well. I said meet me at the café across from the Rex, the movie theater. I got there … Continue reading Book Excerpt: Eyes Full of Empty
"I was the one who must go to Najaf for training as an imam, he told me, and not my brother, who loathed study of any kind. It looked to me like I was being offered up as a sacrifice."
"I’ve no experience with children, but generally speaking, shouldn’t they seem joyous and uninhibited?"
“Price of entry is one unopened packet of cigarettes. No weapons here. If you’re carrying a weapon, chuck it down that hole, now. No talking to the pedestrians and no looking at their faces. If you’re carrying a mask, then put it on; otherwise cover your face with a scarf or a sheet of newspaper."