Carmen Amber’s Turn

A slyly sensual sound at a time when sex wasn’t talked about, except by married women on front porches in the summer twilight, or wildly exaggerated by teenage girls, also in whispers but with a throatiness, a raw edge which might cause the speaker to break off, red-faced, while the rest of us looked at our feet.

Rising, a short story by Joan Spilman

Grandma looks bewildered, like a child who’s been tricked. I’ve seen this look on her face before. In the hospital, mostly in the evening. The physical therapist told me not to worry. “It happens with stroke patients. We call it sundowning. They get confused. Expect her to have good days and bad. Expect her to cry and be moody. Don’t be alarmed at outbursts, accusations.” I’ve never feared for anything until now.