Short story: Are You Jealous (final)

“You’re alone.” A woman, dressed in a long beaded skirt, a short-sleeved black turtleneck; her greying unruly hair mostly pinned up, touched his arm.  “I’m Kuaia.  Come with me.”  Her expressive disorganization, her expensive vintage fashion, exemplified all Eva struggled to put across. “You’re a friend of Henderson’s,” Ms. Bodmin-Hodges told Gabriel, confidently.  “I will […]

Short story: Are You Jealous (fourteenth)

“Much of little note,” Presby said to Henderson Young.  “Yet…” he turned.  He cast upon Eva a look of warm sympathy; he extended the eyeglasses, sketching encompassing circles,  “..we find desirable items from the interwar era.”  His vowel-work on the word “era” was extraordinary. “Individuals relinquished heirlooms.” “It was a period of great poverty in […]

Short story: Are You Jealous (thirteenth)

“My dear,” said the man who shared Gabriel’s bench.  His companion turned, and repeated, “My dear.” He rather liked them for that; decided he might face the room.  They resumed their discussion “Glazes vary in composition,” the woman said.  “Raw materials may have been more abundant during certain periods, or in certain regions.  The chemists […]

Short story: Are You Jealous (twelfth)

Gabriel turned.  The speaker caught his eye, as though he were part of the conversation. Gabriel nodded, for no reason.  The woman in the jacket moved, displaced air, sent out a gust of perfume mixed with dry cleaning fluid, and backed with a jolt against the bench.  She sat, then shifted in a companionable way, […]

Short story: Are You Jealous (eleventh)

So he was alone.  He arrived at the forest lodge.  Or, it might be, Willowbrook, Winterhaven, Whitsuntide, Weltschmerz.   The house was imposing, multi-gabled, fronted with many half-concealed entrances—yet, apparently uninhabited.  One of the new-old houses, it spread expansively.  Its entryway was like an inverted foyer of fittings:  glass and brass, lantern chains and sidelights, fanlights, […]

Short story: Are You Jealous (tenth)

Another name had cropped up.  Saturday, Gabriel, at his end of the sofa, had been reading an article; while Eva, at hers, leafed through catalogs.  She stood, gathered her recycling, went to the garage.  Gabriel, submerged with the methane bubble which threatened to burst from thawing permafrost, blinked when Eva placed a note on the […]

Short story: Are You Jealous (ninth)

“In Großherzogtum Weimar…” Reiff said.  He paused.  He had spoken the name with a great enunciation; Gabriel attended.  Reiff went on, “…this clock was sold.  That is all we can say of it.  Certainly, it was made three hundred years ago, maybe older.” Gabriel hoped Reiff had never shown it to Eva.  He’d been on […]

Short story: Are You Jealous (eighth)

Reiff, with Gabriel’s credit card, vanished again into an alcove, which the sheer whiteness of the space had optically concealed.  Seemingly, he had no other customers today.  Gabriel had come in person to do what he might easily have done over the phone.  He had reason.  Friends of Presby might know information to Presby’s discredit.  […]

Short story: Are You Jealous (seventh)

He’d had a vague picture of Reiff’s shop being like the inside of a cuckoo clock.  He walked around the block, found the address again.  The narrow brick exterior, sand colored, had a window that said nothing, blinds which admitted no interior view.  The door was black, a muted semi-gloss.  On frosted, beveled glass, the […]

Short story: Are You Jealous (sixth)

The day was not really sunny; it was not really warm.  Gabriel felt clammy wearing his jacket.  He knew that if he took it off, he would feel chilled.  The sun, hazy through low clouds, as though a dim shop light were burning, seemed warmer where yellow leaves remained, withdrew coldly where limbs were bare.  […]