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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Excerpt from Novella: "The Saltness of Time"

I've always liked this part from The Saltness of Time:

"The quiet was remarkable. I had never known quiet could have such intensity. The wind had stopped. No tree limbs creaked. The highway was shut down, so no rumble of distant semi-trucks existed. I started thinking how I had never heard such a silence before when I realized I was feeling vibrations. Sensory deprivation will cause hallucinations. Maybe it was the lack of sound that made me believe the acres of snow had become a vast sounding board stretching over the prairie and bringing to me the vibrations of its past. But there was no doubt to me then, nor is there now, that I heard Indian ponies passing in the night, and I could feel the heart throbs of a terror-struck pioneer family, huddled, praying for God to protect their lives in a dismal soddie. I heard, then, too, the shouts of children in an ancient Pawnee settlement, ignorant of what would follow a Spaniard's search for gold. I heard a shovel scoop out earth to make room for a tiny coffin, and sobs tore at my heart. My body was rocked by the thuds of buffalo bodies, one after another, hitting the prairie as a hunter decimated a herd. And then I actually felt the vibrations as the first plow ripped the sod and make the entire prairie sigh. It sighed the word 'land.' Land, it's a word as magic as the sea, isn't it? There even reached to me the sounds of monster fish from when Kansas was, for thousands of years, a great inland sea, only to dry up, like dreams, and leave beds of salt and shark's teeth for a Kansas boy to wonder at."

And look at that. A sentence ending with a no-no: "at."

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