Seven Short Stories

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Because of the way Twitter feeds operate, the tweets could actually be encountered in reverse order for a user scrolling back through their feed, although for a user who was following the feed in real-time, the tweets would appear in their feed in sequence, embedded within - and perhaps indistinguishable from - news feeds, advertisements, and diary-style personal updates that make up Twitter.

Books in the series: Secret Seven Short Stories

The audience of these Tweets would be twofold; followers of Teju Cole would encounter all the tweets in sequence, but each tweet followed its own path of dissemination, retweeted by Cole's followers and by the followers of those followers, so each has the potential to become detached from the 'Seven Short Stories' series to function as its own standalone mini-story. Someone must have slandered Josef K. Each of Cole's tweets would also be experienced differently by different twitter users because of their juxtaposition within each user's unique twitter feed. For example, a user following exclusively news feeds - tweets of news headlines - would experience the tweets differently from someone following primarily personal feeds.

Teju Cole's Twitter handle is tejucole, although he left Twitter in Individual Work. Author statement:. And this was just another way to generate conversation about something that nobody wanted to look at. Read the original work online here. And suddenly she found herself before a door that slid open by itself, parting like a glass sea, and as she was standing there the door closed again, and when she moved a few steps forward it opened, and then she saw him.


He charged at her and wrapped both his arms around her. And as he held her she felt her feet leave the ground. It was when he put her back down that she finally believed she was really somewhere else, on another soil, in another country. He could tell she was happy that so many of her pictures were displayed on the wall facing his bed. During the ride home, he had nearly crashed the car twice.

They dashed through the small talk, the inventory of friends and family members and the state of their health. She had no detailed anecdotes about anyone in particular. She was bigger than she had been when he left her, what people here might call chubby. It was obvious that she had been to a professional hairdresser, because she was elegantly coiffed with her short hair gelled down to her scalp and a fake bun bulging in the back.

She smelled good—a mixture of lavender and lime. But he was going to work hard, to find a lawyer and get himself a green card, and then send for his wife. The green card had taken six years and nine months. But now she was here with him, staring at the pictures on his wall as though they were of someone else. She remembered, she said. It was just that she looked so desperate, as if she were trying to force him to remember her.

He would have called through the walls for one of the men to get some water, if they were not doing such a good job of hiding behind the closed doors of their rooms to give him some privacy. When he came back with the glass, she examined it, as if for dirt, and then gulped it down.

He loved her more than the size of the ocean she had just crossed. To keep himself from saying more insipid things, he jumped on top of her and pinned her down on the bed. She was not as timid as she had been on their wedding night. She tugged at his black tie so fiercely that he was sure his neck was bruised. Only for a moment did he think to feel sorry that it might be years before the others could experience the same thing. He was exhausted when she grabbed the top sheet from the bed, wrapped it around her, and announced that she was going to the bathroom.

He heard voices in the kitchen, her talking to the men, introducing herself. He bolted right up from the bed when he remembered that all she had on was the sheet. As he raced to the door, he collided with her coming back. There were two men playing dominoes in the kitchen, she told him, dressed in identical pink satin robes. He left early for work the next day, along with the other men, but not before handing her a set of keys and instructing her not to let anyone in.

They had made love again and again, forcing themselves to do so more quietly each time. He had assured her that there was no need to be embarrassed. They were married, before God and a priest. This was crucial for her to remember. So that something more judicial and committing than a mere promise would bind them. So that even if their union had become a victim of distance and time, it could not have been easily dissolved.

They would have had to sign papers to come apart, write letters, speak on the phone about it. But he had asked for the day off and his boss had refused. At least they would have the weekends, Saturdays and Sundays, to do with as they wished—to go dancing, sightseeing, shopping, and apartment-hunting. At noon, the phone rang. It was him.


He asked her what she was doing. She lied and told him that she was cooking, making herself something to eat. He asked what. She said eggs, guessing that there must be eggs in the refrigerator.

Seven short stories with a novella by best-selling author Charles Harris – Charles Harris author

He asked if she was bored. She said no. She was going to listen to the radio and write letters home. When she hung up, she turned on the radio. She scrolled between the stations he had pointed out to her and was glad to hear people speaking Creole. There was music playing, too— konpa by a group named Top Vice. She switched to a station with a talk show. She sat up to listen as some callers talked about a Haitian-American named Patrick Dorismond who had been killed. He had been shot by a policeman in a place called Manhattan.

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Lying back, she raised the sheet over her head and through it listened to the callers, each one angrier than the last. When he came home, he saw that she had used what she had found in the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinets to cook a large meal for all four of them. She insisted that they wait for the other men to drift in before they ate, even though he had only a few hours before he had to leave for his night job.

The men complimented her enthusiastically on her cooking, and he could tell that this meal made them feel as though they were part of a family, something they had not experienced in years. They seemed to be happy, eating for pleasure as well as sustenance, chewing more slowly than they ever had before.

Usually they ate standing up, Chinese or Jamaican takeout from places down the street. Tonight there was little conversation, beyond praise for the food. The men offered to clean the pots and dishes once they were done, and he suspected that they wanted to lick them before washing them. He and his wife went to the room and lay on their backs on the bed. He explained why he had two jobs. It had been partly to fill the hours away from her, but also partly because he had needed to support both himself here and her in Port-au-Prince.

And now he was saving up for an apartment and, ultimately, a house. She said that she, too, wanted to work. She had finished a secretarial course; perhaps that would be helpful here. He fell asleep mid-thought. He rushed to the bathroom to wash his face, came back, and changed his overalls, all the while cursing himself. He was stupid to have overslept, and now he was late. He kissed her goodbye and ran out. Half of them need a job. Her days fell into a routine. In the afternoons, she wrote letters home.

She wrote of the meals that she had made, of the pictures of her on the wall, of the songs and protest chants on the radio.

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