Night of the Week of The Lifted Brow, Part 1

Posted by @ 10:40 am on January 19th, 2010

Friends, I am incredibly excited and thrilled to announce that this week we will be posting stories from the current issue of The Lifted Brow, fantastic Australian biannual that you must know about if you don’t already. We’ll start things off with a GIANT favorite- the great Christine Schutt.  Her story is called:

L I T T L E  C A Y M A N

The six-seater plane wobbled onto a back-lot ugly island leeched of colour, the shrubbery burnt. The airstrip was no longer than a city block. The passengers, all three, measured most distances by city blocks. Two men and a woman, they were from New York and travelling together. They were past youth but anyone’s guess how near old age. The woman put out a hand to be helped from the plane, but once on the ground, her manner was hectic. Surely being short, with its many disadvantages, had made her this way. The oldest of the passengers—if grey hair counted—was called Danny. “Danny,” asked the woman, “Shouldn’t there be someone here to greet us?” And the other man, who had no distinguishing features and was not addressed by name, reassured the woman that a ride to the club had been arranged.

“I’m glad somebody thought ahead,” the woman said.

“We’re here by invitation,” Danny said. But the sky was a haze that pressed down on them, and the low, unvarying vegetation was yet another of the island’s limitations. Brittle grasses broke underfoot; the windsock sighed. “So,” Danny said, “this is Little Cayman and that,” he said, “must be our ride.”

Even as the prop plane puttered up and away, a predacious jeep in camouflage was suddenly bounding toward them. The driver’s prominent knees knocked around as he jounced nearer, waving extravagantly, in a manic shirt, shouting, “What took you so long?”

The three travellers only saw who it was when the driver was rattling in neutral: here was Uncle Johnny come for them agrin—and it made sense to the three travellers, now they understood the windburned landscape, the breathless heat.

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