Author: Lavie Tidhar

It Happened in ‘Loontown

Balloon trumpeters played a jazzy tune on the stage. Boppers bopped and hoppers hopped and the crowd thickened around the bar where shots of warm air were handed out to the revellers. Muldoon saw familiar faces: the crime beat reporter for the ’Loon Times, the mayor’s deputy, and the police commissioner, whose ego was as inflated as he was.

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The Great Train Robbery

From high above the Escapement, from the perspective of a flying caique or other clown bird, the railway line appeared more like a sort of tangled mandala, following not a straight path but the twisting contours of the landscape …

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My Struggle

From beyond the ghetto walls come the peal of church bells; pure and clear, clear and pure the sound fills the night above the ghetto, and Shomer and the children stop and listen to it, spellbound in their captivity.

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Red Christmas

In another time and place, Shomer still has Fanya and the children. He watches his wife as she lights the Hannukah candles on the windowsill. A hush has settled over the ghetto, and the children, Avrom and Bina, watch the weak, flickering lights of the candle stubs. Shomer watches them too, how they struggle to survive, to hold this flickering flame. He knows that soon, no matter what he’d do, these lights will burn out and die.

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Agent of V.A.L.I.S.

A thing that wore Johnny Carson’s face came over, light on its feet. “Tonight I’m delighted to say we have the famous Agent Dydimus with us!” he said. The audience applauded. It was the same people from the courthouse, the same people, he realised, who had gathered to listen to him up by the old church. Mary was amongst them. She smiled at him, brilliantly.

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Titanic!

10 April 1912

When I come on board the ship I pay little heed to her splendour; nor to the gaily–strewn lines of coloured electric lights, nor to the polished brass of the crew’s jacket uniforms, nor to the crowds at the dock in Southampton, waving handkerchiefs and pushing and shoving for a better look; nor to my fellow passengers.

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Love Is a Parasite Meme

“Love is a parasite meme,” she’d told him once. It would have been Amsterdam, with the poisoned canals and a gibbous moon, made green with atmospheric pollution, gloaming over Station Centraal.

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