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Fiction: A-C

Fiction of the Day

Trial Run

By Zach Williams


I pitched through the lobby door and then, as I caught my breath, stood looking back at the storm. It was bad out there. The city had been reduced to dim outlines and floating lights; snow moved down Nineteenth Street in waves. I beat it from my hat and coat, knocked my boots together. Under those high ceilings, each sound reverberated. Only the emergency lights were on, there was no one at the front desk, all the elevators in the bank sat open and waiting. And in a fit of hope, I thought there might not be, in all the building, even one other soul.

Though I hadn’t hit that button, the elevator stopped on nine: silence, nothing but cubicles in the faint light of an alarm panel. When the doors slid open again on fourteen I saw Manny Mintauro, our security guard, like a stone slab behind his podium. Half his face was in shadow. My heart fell at the sight of him.

“Sup, bro,” he said, deep and grave.  

The elevator doors closed behind me. “Hey, Manny.” Snow dropped from my jeans onto the carpet. “Thought it might just be me today.

from Infinite Life

By Annie Baker


APPEARING HERE


SOFI, forties, lives in Los Angeles, California
EILEEN, seventies, lives in Wichita, Kansas
ELAINE, sixties, lives in Dublin, New Hampshire
GINNIE, sixties, lives in Rio Vista, California
YVETTE, sixties to seventies, lives in Midland, Michigan


SETTING


The courtyard of a medical clinic two hours north of San Francisco.
Two rows of outdoor chaise longues.
May 2019.


A “/” indicates that the next speaker’s dialogue has begun.

SCENE 13


Everyone is onstage lying on their chairs. Elaine is holding a green juice and Ginnie is reading a Thich Nhat Hanh book.


GINNIE
Here’s a provocative question.


YVETTE
Ready.