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9780307907721

The Fifty Year Sword

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780307907721

  • ISBN10:

    0307907724

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-10-16
  • Publisher: Pantheon

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Supplemental Materials

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Summary

The nationally best-selling author of House of Leavesand Only Revolutionshas crafted a powerfully chilling novella-a ghost story for grownup readers. Late one evening at a party at an East Texas ranch house, five orphans gather to hear a story about a quest for a terrible weapon. Before them lies a long black box with five latches. As the owner of the box settles into a curious tale of revenge, the children grow more and more captivated, even as we grow more and more afraid that a new crime may await them all, especially as clocks in Upshur County approach midnight.

Excerpts

“The Social Worker had mentioned
other
          “youngens
                              “but that night
Chintana saw no sign of any more.
    “Maybe the incresiating cold
                                             “or the
peculiar threat of a storm
                                            “or Belinda
Kite’s birthday
                      “had turned parents
from wrestling with seat belts and car
seats—
           “—from those oh so
                                            “many lists
of baby sitters tacked conveniently by a
phone.
 
    “Chintana rubbed the violet line
on her thumb as a woman with topaz
clamped on her ears burst past her
towards a small bathroom tucked
under the main stairs.
 
    “ ‘Such a hateful whore,’ the woman
sputstuttersobbed to Chintana,
                                             “to no one
in particular,
                   “diving for the comforts of
lock and running water.
 
    “Whereupon Chintana’s thumb
abruptly began to sore a little
                                         “and she
felt bleak,
                “as if a thousand
                                       “vengeances
upon vengeances were dicing her
suddenly
               “into hail.

    “Though the cause was none too
mysterous
                 “—the front door just stood
wide open.
                          “Though when it had
been flung so Chintana would never
remember.
 
    “The porch lights were extinguished
too, oddly,
               “and what’s more a shadow
now cut across the threshold,
                                            “though
without moon or stars in the Texas sky
this was an awful impossibility,
                                               “for here
reaching towards her it seemed was a
shadow cast by nothing
                                        “other
                                                   “than
the darkness itself.
 
    “Most would’ve denied the sight with
a turn,
                    “a cry,
                                             “flight,

“but maybe because Chintana too, day
out and night in, could so easily consider
doing the same,
                       “what would leave these
rooms drenched in silence,
                                       “and blood,
“she welcomed him.
 
“ ‘The orphans’
                        “was all he said.

“And Chintana showed him the way.

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