By Laura Lippman
This brief tale used to be initially released in Laura Lippman's assortment infrequently KNEW HER.
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Extra resources for Black-Eyed Susan
He could make coins appear from behind my ear. He taught me that 81 is a magic number. ‘Nine is magic, because of Nonna’s fingers, and also nine times nine is eighty-one. ’ He could even find the one card you had picked from a whole deck, even though you put it in the middle and he shuffled them. Then for my eighth birthday Nonno Antonio gave me a magic set. ‘Tenere d’occhio,’ he said, ‘watch carefully’, as he moved his hands slowly. One by one, he showed me how to do all the tricks. You hide the ring in your glove.
I stammer. ‘Sorry is too late,’ she says, turning from me. I hear the click clack of the three-inch heels of her smart brown shoes down the passage. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say my day couldn’t get any worse. But today is also my mother’s birthday and we’re all getting together tonight at Papuzzi’s, her favourite Italian restaurant at the wharf. As of this moment, I am still empty-handed in the gift-department and judging from the reception area when I walked in—which was 27 TWAN 8/5/08 2:41 PM Page 28 JOANNE FEDLER packed with women and kids as if AVOs were on some kind of special—I don’t know when I’m going to get a gap to make it to the mall.
It’s done. On the back I write in childish print, Thank you Miss Helene for your kindness, Rania and . . I didn’t get the kid’s name. Jacob, I write, making something up. It’s Biblical, it’ll do. I then put the Polaroid in an envelope and seal it. On the back I write, Happy birthday, Mum. You’ve just fed a family for a month. I hope I have finally understood the generosity of your heart. Love, Faith. Yes, a plant. A plant is what this dreary office needs. 52 TWAN 8/5/08 2:41 PM Page 53 10. smile Tyler Holden once scored twenty-seven goals all by himself against St Michael’s which held the basketball championship trophy and had done so for the past fifteen years.