Thursday, June 11, 2009

Final Alice Munro post...

As promised, here, now, is the third and final post featuring excerpts from the work Alice Munro.

This time, a passage from a story entitled “Runaway” from the 2004 collection of the same name. The scene seems at first mystical and then maybe comical but is, as you’ll discover when you read the whole story, anything but.

Not far from the house was a wide shallow patch of land that often filled up the night fog this time of year. The fog was there tonight, had been there all this while. But now at one point there was a change. The fog had thickened, taken on a separate shape, transformed itself into something spiky and radiant. First a live dandelion ball, tumbling forward, then condensing itself into an unearthly sort of animal, pure white, hell-bent, something like a giant unicorn, rushing at them.

“Jesus Christ,” Clark said softly and devoutly. And grabbed hold of Sylvia’s shoulder. This touch did not alarm her at all---she accepted it with the knowledge that he did it either to protect her or to reassure himself.

Then the vision exploded. Out of the fog, and of the magnifying light---now seen to be that of a car travelling along this back road, probably in search of a place to park---out of this appeared a white goat. A little dancing white goat, hardly bigger than a sheepdog.

Clark let go. He said, ‘Where the Christ did you come from?”

“It’s your goat,” said Sylvia, “Isn’t it your goat?”

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