Authors: Heather O'Neill
Tags: #Short Stories (Single Author), #Literary Collections, #Canadian, #Fiction, #Coming of Age, #Family Life
The trees were shaking outside, trying to hold in their laughter. Every winter, the cold tried to get rid of the people in the same way that it got rid of giant insects. But humans were still there. Humans could, for better or worse, survive all sorts of awful things. As they began to drift off, Jules and Manon thought that they were safe and that no one, not even the future, could touch them. What neither of them knew was that this night was the beginning of another story. There was somebody new in the universe. How impossibly strange it is when a little life is created. A wee seed in a Styrofoam cup on the window ledge of an elementary school suddenly begins to grow into a beanstalk. And when we first exist, we are so warm. It is as if we are wrapped up in a fur coat, riding in a car with the windows rolled up and the radio tuned to a station that only broadcasts heartbeats.
And so Jules fell asleep with his arms around his new family.
Fearless. Witty. Thoughtful. Canadian.
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All the Way Home
I left for Austin
, Texas, last September, on a splendid Saturday of the Labour Day weekend. Dawn was breaking as I headed west along the Queen Elizabeth Way toward the US border and a more expansive idea of myself. It was unclear what lay in store. I was just thrilled to be moving again.
This was my first trip to Austin, except for a few days the previous spring, when I’d flown down to see if it would be a good place to do some writing and take a sabbatical from my life. Among other things, I wanted to meet my prospective landlords, Cat and Norm Ballinger. I’d connected with them in March after posting an ad in the Austin section on Craigslist, indicating that I was a writer looking for an “apartment, house or idiosyncratic space.”
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COPYRIGHT © 2012 HEATHER O’NEILL
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Published in 2012 by
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Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
And They Danced by the Light of the Moon / Heather O’Neill.
Stories published in the July/August 2012 edition of the Walrus magazine, as part of a collection of three short stories.
I. Walrus Foundation II. Title.
PS8501.T86I2 2012 C813'.54 C2012-901829-5
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Cover image for
And They Danced by the Light of the Moon
COPYRIGHT © CC-BY Mike Bailey-Gates
Story based on characters from
Lullabies for Little Criminals
, 2006, HarperCollins Canada.