A N GLAI S - LVI Séries ES-S
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jeans into the cornerof her purpleduffel shoveda pair of rolled-up FionaSweeney the a wailslicedthrough whitenoiseof a wet window, siren's her bedroom bag.Outside a moanswerepartof NewYorkCity'swallpaper, signal Thoseeerieman-made snowfall. this But enoughto passunnoticed. Fi registered one,maybe commonplace of trouble be sirens a while. for because knewshewouldn't hearing she she Whatelseshould backto her bag,whichstillhad space. her Sheturned attention wading snapshot, she examined motheras ayoungwoman, her take?Liftinga frarned the into a stream,wearingrubber boots and carying a fishing pole. Fi cherished Fi The mother photograph; real life,she'dneverknownher mother be that carefree. to in go. Fi putthe go to Africa.In fact,she wouldn't want Fi to wantto had knownwouldn't picture the drawnto a wom volumeof lrish facedown and scanned room,her attention poetry her bedside. tucked in.She it by "Howaboutthe nettingt?" Chriscalledfromthe livingroomwherehe sat withDevi. 'Already Fi answered. in,"
"Andrepellent?" askedDevi. that Chris away a gnat-a gesture "Yes,yes." Fi wavedher hand as thoughshooing and Devi couldn'tsee from the other room."Shouldhave kept my mouthshut,"she murmured.
annual that the country's about Kenya,she'd discovered Early onin her research pills;she had repellents; She was in the tens of thousands. had deathtoll from malaria slightly she that highjoltedher.She became logically, knewshe'dbe fine. Still,a figure it with Chrisand Devi. Mbu-mosquito-had obsessed and-here's the rub-discussed into even dive-bombed wordshe'dlearned. Sometimes insects the beenthe first Swahili she for Eventually, mosquitoes becamea metaphoreverything feared nightmares. her plusthe aboutthis trip: all the storiesshe'd read abouta violentand chaoticcontinent, jittersthatcomewiththe unknown. Fi's All Andwhatwasn'tunknown? she knewfor sure,in fact, waswhy she was going. alone.Nowit four kids momhad neverbeena big talker,but she'dbeena hero,raising worthwhile. was Fi'sturn to do something
waved in the air the paper on whichhe'd"Fi." Chris,at the door of the bedroom, she shouldbring and mightforget.Moneybelt. writtena list of all the itemshe thought in bars. "Haveyou been usingthis?"he askedhalf-mockingly the toneof a Hat.Granola teacher. "l hatelists," Fisaid. 'OK,nhe said.'Then,whatdo you say,take a break?" her He studied a second. from Devicalled "Yeah, c'mon,Fi.We don'twant to downall yourwine by ourselves," low.the livingroom,wherean EnyaCD played it Pulling backher dark,frizzyhairand securing with a clip,Fi movedto the livingroom in ontothe flooracrossfrom Devi,who sprawled2 a long skirton the couch. and plopped out, and sat in the chairnearesther. lf they reached ChrispouredFi a glassof cabernet Fi felt connected them in manyways,but at the to the threeof them couldholdhands. placeand period. softlightfell in fromthe partlyin another A sametime,shewas already that the sensation room in a flatteringglow and intensifying window,dousing the was half hereandhalfnot. and aroundherwas diaphanous, thatshe herself everything 'You know,there'slotsof illiteracy fhl's in country," Devisaidaftera moment. after work,nFi said. .But there, it's different. "That'swhy I've been volunteering
1net toprotectoneselfagainstmosquitoes 2 çhere)sit or lie casually,in a relaxedmanner
They've neverbeenexposed libraries. to Somehaveneverhelda book in theirhands." "Notto mention that it's moredangerous, whichsomehow makesit appealing Fi," to "Nai-robbery." Chris saidto Devi,shaking head. his
Thoughhe spoke lightly,his words echoedthose of Fi's brotherand two...