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SHARP OBJECTS PDF

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Contents Cover Page Title Page Dedication Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six C. sh arp t e e t h Toby Barlow Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat. ro b e rt f ro st Contents Epigraph B Sharp Teeth: A Novel (P.S.). sh arp t e e t h Toby. Sharp Objects Gillian Flynn Pdf is available here. You can easily download Sharp Objects Gillian Flynn Pdf, Sharp Objects Gillian Flynn Pdf by.


Sharp Objects Pdf

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AN HBO® LIMITED SERIES STARRING AMY ADAMSFROM THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF GONE GIRLFresh from a brief stay at a. This books (Sharp Objects [PDF]) Made by Gillian Flynn About Books Gillian Flynn is TV critic for US magazine Entertainment Weekly, but after. [PDF] Download Sharp Objects: A Novel Ebook | READ ONLINE Download at resourceone.info?book= Download Sharp.

I really don't outline: I know basically how I want the story to start, and vaguely how I want it to end though like I said, with Sharp Objects even that changed! Then I just write: Some characters I start finding more interesting, some less. I write entire swaths that I pretty much know I'll cut. I have an entire file of "deleted scenes. Which is, admittedly, weird. From Publishers Weekly Flynn's debut novel focuses on an emotionally fragile young woman whose sanity is being severely tested by family dysfunction, smalltown incivility and murder.

It is a mesmerizing psychological thriller that is also quite disturbing and, thanks to reader Lee's chillingly effective rendition, at times almost unbearably so.

Sharp Objects

Camille Preaker, a novice reporter with a history of self-mutilation, is sent to her hometown in Missouri to cover the murder of one teenage girl and the disappearance of another. There, she must face a variety of monsters from the past and the present, including her aloof and patronizing mother, her obnoxiously precocious year-old stepsister who dabbles in drugs, sex and humiliation, and an unknown serial killer whose mutilated victims bring back haunting memories. Lee's interpretation of mom enhances the character's detachment and airy state of denial to an infuriating degree.

And her abrupt change of pace when Camille suddenly begins chanting the words carved on her body is hair-raising. But the voice Lee gives to the stepsister—tinged with a sarcastic, cynical and downright evil girly singsong—makes one's blood run cold.

All rights reserved. From Bookmarks Magazine Critics agree that Gillian Flynn's psychological thriller and murder mystery is a far more sophisticated offering than a debut novel has any right to be. Flynn, the Chicago-based television critic for Entertainment Weekly, paints a clever, sensitive, and scathing portrait of small-town America—"Wind Gap truly is the home town from hell," notes the Washington Post—while portraying a convincing heroine consumed by violence, past and present.

Flynn's vivid prose captures human foibles perfectly. If Camille's career is an old trick of the trade, it's a minor flaw in an otherwise stunning novel, "a tough tale told with remarkable clarity and dexterity, particularly for a first-time author" Denver Post.

Customer Reviews Most helpful customer reviews 20 of 20 people found the following review helpful. This book is amazing. As we all know, Gillian Flynn is quite a writer! This is the 2'nd book by her I've read. Both books I knew right from the first two pages I was in for a treat from a very talented writer. What I love best about Flynn is that she isn't afraid to go "raunchy".. Her main and most lovable characters often talk about the "taboo" things they did as a teenager like masturbating or experimenting with drugs.

There are certain places writers don't want to go, not even for a few sentences for fear of losing a certain audience but Flynn dives right in. Even in the darkest of scenes she may add a certain sentence that will make you laugh out loud suddenly.

Also she hints at certain "red flags" about certain characters that makes that tiny voice in the back of your head say "Wait a minute, I'm not sure what to think about this character just yet" Then by the end of the chapter, that very character might be winning your sympathy or affections and then you are battling with in your own mind on what to think!

Thank you Gillian Flynn for making me feel a little "crazy" at times, a little "less crazy" at others and completely satisfied and fulfilled by the end of the book! Upon returning home she must face her own personal demons that were long left behind and most already forgotten. Degraded and ready to give up, Camille must battle the greatest fight for her life while fulfilling her bosses dreams and high expectations — Is the challenge too much for Camille?

Will she let down everyone depending on her, her own self or all of the above??

I was on my way home from Hayti. Four kids in the morning can be a little much, you know? He ran his fingers underneath his bristly mustache. Marking days till he can get out. You want a picture of Ann? He took from his wallet a school photo of a girl with a wide, crooked smile, her pale brown hair cut jaggedly above her chin. Ann chopped it off instead. She was a willful thing. A tomboy. The one people look at.

I drove there slowly over a perfectly squared few blocks. This west side was the newer section of town. You could tell because the grass was a brighter green, rolled out in prepaid patches just thirty summers ago. That grass made better whistles. You could split a blade in the middle, blow, and get a tweezy sound until your lips began to itch.

Add an extra ten in case she decided to take a longer route, stretch her legs at the first chance to really ride that summer. Nine is too old to be stuck pedaling in circles around the same block.

What happened to the bike? I rolled slowly past the home of Emily Stone. As the night bloomed blue, I could see a girl run past a bright window. I did. Yanking out twenty-some teeth, no matter how small, no matter how lifeless the subject, is a tough task. The defiant haircut and that grin reminded me of Natalie. I liked this girl, too. I tucked her picture away in my glove compartment. Then I lifted up the sleeve of my shirt and wrote her full name—Ann Marie Nash—in lush blue ballpoint on the inside of my arm.

I figured people here were jittery enough without unknown cars trolling around. I debated whether to phone her first and decided against it three blocks from home. It was too late to call, too much misguided courtesy. The Victorians, especially southern Victorians, needed a lot of room to stray away from each other, to duck tuberculosis and flu, to avoid rapacious lust, to wall themselves away from sticky emotions.

Extra space is always good. The house is at the very top of a very steep hill. In first gear, you can drive up the cracked old driveway to the top, where a carriage porch keeps cars from getting wet.

Or you can park at the bottom of the hill and walk the sixty-three stairs to the top, clutching the cigar-thin rail to the left. When I was a child, I always walked the stairs up, ran the driveway down. Odd to think I ever indulged in such presumptions. I parked at the bottom, so as to seem less intrusive.

Wet with sweat by the time I hit the top, I lifted up my hair, waved a hand at the back of my neck, flapped my shirt a few times. Vulgar pit stains on my French blue blouse. I smelled, as my mother would say, ripe. I rang the doorbell, which had been a cat-calling screech when I was very young, now subdued and truncated, like the bing! It was 9: The air was so teasy with pollen, my eyes watered.

She rarely asked questions of any potency. Alan and I were just having amaretto sours. But I also have mango juice, wine, and sweet tea, or ice water. Or soda water. Where are you staying? I was hoping I could stay here.

Just for a few days. I would have had dinner for you or something. Come say hello to Alan. Glowing pale skin, with long blonde hair and pale blue eyes. She was wearing a long, pink cotton dress with little white slippers. She was twirling her amaretto sour without spilling a drop. She would have looked just right with a burly, mustached giant. Alan was, if anything, thinner than my mother, with cheekbones that jutted out of his face so high and sharp his eyes turned to almond slivers.

I wanted to administer an IV when I saw him. He overdressed always, even for an evening of sweet drinks with my mother. Now he sat, needly legs jutting out of white safari shorts, with a baby blue sweater draped over a crisp oxford.

He sweated not at all. Alan is the opposite of moist. Thought you had a moratorium on anything south of Illinois. It was the closest to a question as I would get. My mother reappeared, her hair now pulled up in a pale blue bow, Wendy Darling all grown up.

She pressed a chilled glass of fizzing amaretto into my hand, patted my shoulder twice, and sat away from me, next to Alan.

When my mother is piqued, she has a peculiar tell: She pulls at her eyelashes. Sometimes they come out. In winter time, they leaked streaks of tears whenever she went outdoors. She scratched the skin just below and put her hand in her lap. Dead little girls. Who would do that?

Granules of sugar stuck to my tongue. I was not ready to speak with my mother. My skin hummed. His contribution to our conversations generally came in the form of adjustments: Why do you ask?

We do that up north, too. Came back up pink and resolute. Those girls were her schoolmates. Your old bedroom. It has a tub.

And steaks. Do you eat steak? Shooting up in bed every twenty minutes, my heart pounding so hard I wondered if it was the beating that woke me.

I dreamt my mother was slicing an apple onto thick cuts of meat and feeding it to me, slowly and sweetly, because I was dying. Just after 5 a. I finally threw off the covers. I decided to leave it for luck. Outside, the sun was just rising but my car handle was already hot. My face felt numb from lack of sleep and I stretched my eyes and mouth wide, like a B-movie scream queen. The search party was set to reconvene at 6 a.

Staking out the police station seemed a good bet. Main Street looked vacant at first, but as I got out of my car I could see two people a few blocks down.

It was a scene that made no sense. An older woman was sitting in the middle of the sidewalk, legs splayed, staring at the side of a building, while a man was stooped over her. The woman was shaking her head manically, like a child refusing to feed. Her legs shot out at angles that had to hurt her. A bad fall?

Heart attack, maybe. I walked briskly toward them and could hear their staccato murmuring. The man, white hair and ruined face, looked up at me with milky eyes. His voice came out crumpled. Wedged in the foot-wide space between the hardware store and the beauty parlor was a tiny body, aimed out at the sidewalk.

As if she were just sitting and waiting for us, brown eyes wide open. I recognized the wild curls. But the grin was gone. She looked like a plastic baby doll, the kind with a built-in hole for bottle feedings. Natalie had no teeth now. The blood hit my face fast, and a shimmer of sweat quickly covered my skin. My legs and arms went slack, and for a second I thought I might smack the ground right next to the woman, who was now quietly praying.

I backed up, leaned against a parked car, and put my fingers to my neck, willing my thumping pulse to slow. My eyes picked up images in meaningless flashes: I could feel her name glowing hotly under my shirtsleeve.

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Then more voices, and Chief Vickery was running toward us with a man. The second man, about my age, stooped next to Natalie. A loop of bruised purple circled her neck, and he pressed his fingers just above it to check for a pulse.

A stalling tactic while he gathered his composure—the child was clearly dead. Big-shot detective from Kansas City, I guessed, the smug kid. He was good, though, coaxing the woman out of her prayers and into a calm story of the discovery. They were on their way to open for breakfast when they found her. Vickery was kneeling by the body, motionless.

His lips moved as if he might be praying, too. His name had to be repeated twice before he snapped back. Be human for a second. Broussard and murmured to her until she patted his hand.

I sat in a room the color of egg yolk for two hours while the officer got my story down. The whole time I was thinking about Natalie going to autopsy, and how I would like to sneak in and put a fresh Band-Aid on her knee.

Chapter Three My mother was wearing blue to the funeral. Black was hopeless and any other color was indecent. I remembered Marian being buried in a pale pink dress. This was no surprise. My mother and I generally differ on all things concerning my dead sister. The morning of the service Adora clicked in and out of rooms on her heels, here spraying perfume, there fastening an earring.

I watched and drank hot black coffee with a burnt tongue. But I feel all the community should support them. Natalie was such a darling.

It may have been genuine. I had been in Wind Gap five days and Amma was still an unseen presence. I figured the Keenes would never find out. No one reads our paper. Murmured greetings and perfumed hugs at Our Lady of Sorrows, a few women nodding politely at me after they cooed over my mother so brave of Adora to come and shoved down to make room for her. Wind Gap is a tiny holdout of Catholicism in a region of booming Southern Baptists, the town having been founded by a pack of Irish.

The French already reigned in St. Louis, so they turned south and started their own towns. But they were unceremoniously pushed out years later during Reconstruction. Missouri, always a conflicted place, was trying to shed its southern roots, reinvent itself as a proper nonslave state, and the embarrassing Irish were swept out with other undesirables.

They left their religion behind. Ten minutes till the service, and a line was forming to gain entry to the church. I surveyed the crowded seat holders inside.

Something was wrong. There was not one child in the church. Not a face younger than fifteen. I pictured hundreds of Wind Gap sons and daughters tucked away in dark den rooms, sucking the backs of their hands while they watched TV and remained unmarked.

Without kids to tend to, the churchgoers seemed static, like paperboard cutouts holding the places of real people. In the back, I could see Bob Nash in a dark suit. Still no wife. He nodded at me, then frowned. Only two men were needed to carry the shiny white coffin.

Any more and they would have been bumping into each other. She was three inches taller than he, a large, warm-looking woman with sandy hair held back with a headband.

She had an open face, the kind that would prompt strangers to ask for directions or the time. Behind them walked a beautiful boy of eighteen or nineteen, his brunette head bowed into his chest, sobbing. The woman next to her patted her hand. Stop or I will make you leave.

But still blushing. The procession moved past us. The coffin seemed ludicrously small. I pictured Natalie inside and could see her legs again—downy hair, knobby knees, the Band-Aid. I ached once, hard, like a period typed at the end of a sentence. As the priest murmured the opening prayers in his best vestments, and we stood and sat, and stood again, prayer cards were distributed.

On the front, the Virgin Mary beamed her bright red heart down on baby Jesus. On the back was printed: She was a sweet, homely little thing, with a pointy chin and slightly bulbous eyes, the kind of girl who might have grown up to be strangely striking. She could have delighted men with ugly-duckling stories that were actually true.

Or she might have remained a sweet, homely little thing. Her face was wet, but her voice was solid when she began speaking. Never again will I sing you to sleep or tickle your back with my fingers. Never again will your brother get to twirl your pigtails, or your father hold you on his lap. Your father will not walk you down the aisle.

Your brother will never be an uncle. We will miss you at our Sunday dinners and our summer vacations. We will miss your laughter. We will miss your tears. Mostly, my dear daughter, we will miss you. We love you, Natalie. Keene walked back to her seat, her husband rushed up to her, but she seemed to need no steadying. As soon as she sat down, the boy was back in her arms, crying in the crook of her neck.

Keene blinked angrily at the church pews behind him, as if looking for someone to hit. For evil is what they are. Let us think instead of what Jesus urged: Love thy neighbor. Let us be good to our neighbors in this difficult time. Lift up your hearts to God. I wondered if the tooth for a tooth part disturbed anyone else.

Long colt legs dangling down. Breasts rounded out by pushup bras. They were huddled together laughing until one of them, again the prettiest, motioned over at me, and they all pretended to hang their heads. Their stomachs were still jiggling, though.

I know the wisdom, that no parents should see their child die, that such an event is like nature spun backward. Kids grow up, they forge more potent allegiances. They find a spouse or a lover. They will not be buried with you. The Keenes, however, will remain the purest form of family. After the funeral, people gathered at the Keene home, a massive stone farmhouse, a moneyed vision of pastoral America.

It was like nothing else in Wind Gap. Missouri money distances itself from bucolicry, from such country quaintness. In colonial America, wealthy women wore subtle shades of blues and grays to counter their crass New World image, while their wealthy counterparts in England tarted up like exotic birds. In short, the Keene home looked too Missouri to be owned by Missourians.

The buffet table held mainly meats: There were pickles and olives and deviled eggs; shiny, hard rolls; and crusted casseroles. The guests segregated themselves into two groups, the tearful and the dry. The stoics stood in the kitchen, drinking coffee and liquor and talking about upcoming city-council elections and the future of the schools, occasionally pausing to whisper angrily about the lack of progress in the murder cases.

His friends nodded in agreement. I made a note to cruise past the roads near the forest in the morning, to see if hangovers had given way to action or not. But I could already picture the sheepish phone calls in the morning: You going?

Agreements to meet for beers later, and the receivers compressed very slowly to muffle the guilty click. Those who wept, mostly women, did so in the front room, on plush sofas and leather ottomans. Sweet kid, to cry so openly. Ladies came by with paper-plate offerings of food, but mother and son just shook their heads no. My mother fluttered around them like a manic bluejay, but they took no notice, and soon she was off to her circle of friends.

Keene stood in a corner with Mr. Nash, both of them smoking silently. Recent evidence of Natalie was still scattered around the room. A small gray sweater folded over the back of a chair, a pair of tennis shoes with bright blue laces by the door. On one of the bookshelves sat a spiral notebook with a unicorn on the front, in a magazine rack was a dog-eared copy of A Wrinkle in Time.

I was rotten. I walked through their home and I spied, my head down in my beer like a shamed ghost. She kissed me on the cheek when I approached. All of whom had been my friends at one point, I suppose. We exchanged condolences and murmured about how sad this was. Angie announced to me that she had a five-year-old daughter—her husband was at home with his gun, watching over her. Curry was wrong: Being an insider here was more distracting than useful.

Her eyes were still puffy and her face was moist and red and stretched, as if she was an angry baby squeezing out of the womb. Diamonds flashed on her tanned fingers, and she smelled of Juicy Fruit and talc when she hugged me.

The evening was feeling too much like a reunion. She had a melon of a head, covered with overbleached hair, and a leering smile. Jackie was catty and shallow, but she was always completely herself. She also was more at ease with me than my own mother. Small huge gestures. You know how that goes. I know you know! I assumed she was drunk. By the time I started to speak, she was caressing my arm and staring at me with wet eyes. And now—I look at you and I see you when you were the same age as those girls.

And I just feel so sad. So much has gone wrong. We can talk. Then I explained myself and what I would write. In tiny Wind Gap, Missouri, posters pleading for the return of year-old Natalie Jane Keene were still hanging as they buried the little girl on Tuesday. A vibrant funeral service, at which the priest spoke of forgiveness and redemption, did little to calm nerves or heal wounds.

Kamens, who assisted in the search for Keene. Mostly, we will miss Natalie. Last August 27, nine-year-old Ann Nash was found in an area creek, also strangled.

She had been bicycling just a few blocks to visit a friend when she was abducted the night before. Both victims reportedly had their teeth removed by the killer. The murders have left the five-person Wind Gap police force baffled.

Lacking experience in such brutal crimes, they have elicited help from the Kansas City homicide division, which has sent an officer trained in the psychological profiling of murderers. Residents of the town pop. The person responsible for the slayings is killing with no particular motive.

Someone just killed our little girl. Local police have declined to comment. Until these murders are resolved, Wind Gap protects its own—a curfew is in effect, and neighborhood watches have sprung up over this once-quiet town. The residents also try to heal themselves. We all want to be left alone. Even as I e-mailed Curry the file, I was already regretting nearly everything about it. Stating that police presumed the murders were committed by a serial killer was a stretch. Vickery never said anything of the sort.

The first Jeannie Keene quote I stole from her eulogy. The second I yanked from the vitriol she spewed at me when she realized my phone condolences were a front.

Shame on you. Curry thought the piece was solid—not great, mind you, but a solid start. He even left in my overfried line: He must have been drunk when he read it.

He ordered a larger feature on the families, soon as I could scrape it together. Another chance to redeem myself. A congressional sex scandal was unraveling delightfully, destroying not just one austere House member, but three.

Two of them women. Lurid, juicy stuff. More importantly, there was a serial killer stalking a more glamorous city, Seattle. Amid the fog and coffeehouses, someone was carving up pregnant women, opening their bellies, and arranging the contents in shocking tableaux for his own amusement.

Thus it was our good fortune that reporters for this type of thing were out of commission. There was just me, left wretched in my childhood bed.

I slept late into Wednesday, sweaty sheets and blankets pulled over my head. Woke several times to phones ringing, the maid vacuuming outside my door, a lawn mower.

I was desperate to remain asleep, but the day kept bobbing through. I kept my eyes closed and imagined myself back in Chicago, on my rickety slice of a bed in my studio apartment facing the brick back of a supermarket.

I had a cardboard dresser purchased at that supermarket when I moved in four years ago, and a plastic table on which I ate from a set of weightless yellow plates and bent, tinny flatware. I tried to imagine other images from my life in Chicago: I hated being in Wind Gap, but home held no comfort either.

I pulled a flask of warm vodka from my duffel bag and got back in bed. Then, sipping, I assessed my surroundings. There were no posters of pop stars or favorite movies, no girlish collections of photos or corsages. Instead there were paintings of sailboats, proper pastel pastorals, a portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Roosevelt, except that she was good, which at the time I suppose was enough. Today I like my first ladies with a little bite. I drank more vodka. There was nothing I wanted to do more than be unconscious again, wrapped in black, gone away. I was raw. I felt swollen with potential tears, like a water balloon filled to burst.

Begging for a pin prick. Wind Gap was unhealthy for me. This home was unhealthy for me. A quiet knock at the door, little more than a rattling gust. Outside my door my mother hovered, peering in warily as if it were the trophy room of a dead child. She held out a large pale green tube. I picked it up this morning. Then back with a frown to my face. She sighed and shook her head slightly. Then she just stood there. So much was similar. That little casket. I miss her.

Even though you were so young. And why were they all dressed so informally? I could barely stand, much less give speeches. Remember, I was young. I washed up in a cool, shallow bath, lights off, another glass of vodka balanced on the side of the tub, then dressed and entered the hallway. The house was silent, as silent as its century-old structure would allow. I heard a fan whirring in the kitchen as I stood outside to make sure no one was there.

Then I slipped in, grabbed a bright green apple, and bit into it as I walked out of the house. The sky was cloudless. Outside on the porch I saw a changeling. Long blonde hair drifted in disciplined rivulets down her back, which was to me. The prettiest one.

Actually, no. She looked younger now. Those clothes were more appropriate for a ten-year-old. She scowled when she saw me assessing her. And Adora stopped sending out Christmas photos five years ago. We still take the dang pictures. Every year Adora buys me a red-and-green checked dress just for the occasion. Adora changed her color scheme from peach to yellow.

This dollhouse is my fancy. Her little doll, learning to speak just like Adora. Her eyes focused on my room in the dollhouse. A small finger poked the bed. I found Chief Vickery banging the dent out of a stop sign at the corner of Second and Ely, a quiet street of small houses a few blocks from the police station.

He used a hammer, and with each tinny bang he winced. The back of his shirt was already wet, and his bifocals were slung down to the end of his nose. I looked at the crabgrass splurting up through a crack in the sidewalk. The Miss stung me a bit. A single woman even a hair over thirty was a queer thing in these parts.

I wanted him to like me, not just because it would make my job easier, but because his bluster reminded me of Curry, who I missed. Got some special detective from Kansas City down here, off and on for months. Says it might be some crazed hitchhiker dropped off the road here, liked the looks of the place, and stayed for near on a year.

Natalie, hell, her family moved here two years ago because she stabbed one of her classmates in the eye with a pair of scissors back in Philadelphia. Her daddy quit his job at some big business, just so they could start over. In the state where his granddad grew up.

In a small town. These girls specifically? Maybe they had done something to him? And this was revenge? He looked back at the hammer on the ground, and I could tell he was debating whether to pick it up and dismiss me or keep talking. Just then a black sedan whooshed up next to us, the passenger-side window zipping down before the car even stopped. Thought we were supposed to meet at your office right about now. He looked at me, lowering his glasses in a practiced way. He had a flip of light brown hair that kept dropping over his left eye.

He smiled at me, teeth like perfect Chiclets. I pulled my sleeves down over my hands, balled the ends up in my palms, leaned on one leg.

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Or are you a walking man—I could pick us up some coffee and meet you there. Or is it…Wind Gapians? I stood silent as a schoolgirl, hoping Vickery would introduce me. Vickery was choosing not to hear. In Chicago I would have jabbed my hand out, announced myself with a smile, and enjoyed the reaction.

Here I stared at Vickery and stayed mute. In answer, Vickery lit another cigarette, walked off. Across the street, the old man had just reached his top step.

Chapter Four Someone had spray-painted blue curlicues on the legs of the water tower at Jacob J. Garrett Memorial Park, and it was left looking oddly dainty, as if it were wearing crochet booties. The park itself—the last place Natalie Keene was seen alive—was vacant. The dirt from the baseball field hovered a few feet above the ground. I could taste it in the back of my throat like tea left brewing too long.

The grasses grew tall at the edge of the woods.

I was surprised no one had ordered them cut, eradicated like the stones that snagged Ann Nash. When I was in high school, Garrett Park was the place everyone met on weekends to drink beer or smoke pot or get jerked off three feet into the woods.

It was where I was first kissed, at age thirteen, by a football player with a pack of chaw tucked down in his gums. The rush of the tobacco hit me more than the kiss; behind his car I vomited wine cooler with tiny, glowing slices of fruit. She was wearing her nightgown.

They were playing Frisbee, over by the woods, and she took Natalie. So Natalie was the one right by the trees. James was out here because of the sun. Or he did. It hit my hip and bounced off. He blurted out a little laugh. It bounced about ten feet in the air, then dribbled to a stop. Who was wearing a nightgown? It was just the two of them, and they were playing Frisbee, and Natalie missed and it went into the grasses by the woods, and the woman just reached out and grabbed her.

Then they were gone. And James ran home. He told me. In Arkansas.

I used to be. He looked like a baby Marine. He ran after it and was gone. Then I filled a Big Mouth with strawberry pop and drove to Holmes. On the breeding side, there are piglets to be clipped and crated, sows to be impregnated and penned, manure pits to be managed. Some employees load the pigs, forcing them down the gangway, where stunners await. Others grab the back legs, fasten the catch around them, release the animal to be lifted, squealing and kicking, upside down.

They cut the throats with pointy slaughter knives, the blood spattering thick as paint onto the tile floors.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Then on to the scalding tank. The constant screams —frantic, metallic squeals—drive most of the workers to wear earplugs, and they spend their days in a soundless rage.

At night they drink and play music, loud. She lets other people run it. I banged on the screen door and waited. The cat rubbed up against my legs; I could feel its ribs through my pants.

I banged again, and the TV switched off. The cat stalked under the porch swing and cried. I traced the word yelp on my right palm with a fingernail and knocked again. I walked over, and through the dust of the screen could see a thin boy with dark curls and gaping eyes. Are you James? Were you watching something good? Can I talk to you? I sat down on the swing at the far end away from him. A boy with real short blonde hair? I saw him at the park, the same park where you were playing with Natalie.

No one believes me. I just need to stay in the house is all. My mom has cancer. The clicking sound made my ears itch. A hundred times.

She was just all white, but not like a ghost. And I saw the woman moving from inside the woods, watching her. I saw her before Natalie did. And then she looked up at me. She stared at me. She smiled at me. For a second I thought it might be all right. And then she stopped smiling. She put her finger to her lips to be quiet.

And then she was gone into the woods. With Natalie. My mom made me. She just stood there. I told you. Maybe you should have a friend come by. Keep you company. Anyway, we have a gun. Guns are very dangerous. You have pretty hair. Be careful, James. A second later I heard the TV squabble on again.

There are eleven bars in Wind Gap. I was drinking a bourbon and scribbling down my notes from the day when KC Law plopped down in the cushioned seat opposite me. He rattled his beer on the table between us. I went back to my notes, soggy from glass sweat.

It works on several levels. Dick as in cop. No wedding ring. I wondered when I began to notice such things. At least for now. See how it goes. Why have the police dismissed the account of the one eyewitness to the kidnapping of Natalie Keene?

Including whether or not we believe his story. I wanted to thank you. The Broussards said they were closed. Off the record. He sat silent for a second, twirling his beer bottle. But you were there. A cultural…some culture. I may be here for a while now. I finished my drink in another swallow, began chewing on the stunted cocktail straw. He came back with two Wild Turkeys.

Like civilians? Adora is the schmoozer in the family—even the guy who sprays for termites once a year sends doting Christmas cards. If you want me to leave, I will. He was nice to look at, and his voice made me feel less ragged. Been a rocky reentry. Eight to be precise. Fervent Wind Gapians. More than I already have.

So your folks like it here? Too many friends. Too perfect a house. He moved here when they got married. Never dream of leaving. Last year I did some high-profile stuff. Murders mostly.

And we got a guy who was serially assaulting women around town. He straddled them and then reached inside their mouths, scratched their throats to pieces. Ten days after the attack. Smaller town, but bigger proving grounds. Foolish, but I indulged. Son killed him, then left him in a bathtub of Drano to dissolve. The bartender switched the house lights to low, an official signal of nighttime hours. Can I walk you to your car? Have good dreams. Next time, I want something on record. The scene was startling, it was so much like the old days with Marian.

Amma and my mother sat on the couch, my mother cradling Amma—in a woolen nightgown despite the heat—as she held an ice cube to her lips.

My half sister stared up at me with blank contentment, then went back to playing with a glowing mahogany dinner table, exactly like the one in the next room, except that it was about four inches high.

I was sinking back into old routines, about to run to the kitchen to heat some tea, just like I always did for Marian when she was sick. I was about to linger near my mother, waiting for her to put an arm around me, too. My mother and Amma said nothing.

The doctors in Woodberry, in fact, probably saw a Crellin a week—both my mother and Alan were sincere overreactors when it came to their health.

When I was a child, I remember my mother trying to prod me with ointments and oils, homemade remedies and homeopathic nonsense. I sometimes took the foul solutions, more often refused.Pulling on a sweater and, in a flash of my wrist: The Miss stung me a bit.

Three floors will do, spreading relentlessly outward, like a spill, unnoticed among the carpet retailers and lamp shops. It directs fault to the gods. Odd to think I ever indulged in such presumptions. Yanking out twenty-some teeth, no matter how small, no matter how lifeless the subject, is a tough task.

The foreshadowing and hints given were a bit too clear to keep me guessing, the red-herring, not red enough to make me second guess myself. In winter time, they leaked streaks of tears whenever she went outdoors. Another ten minutes of hard hiking and I spotted them: Vulgar pit stains on my French blue blouse.