Spring 2007 • Vol. XXIX No. 2 Fiction |


It's the time of year when the snow comes down, when the Hudson turns silver as though the moon has fallen straight down to the river bottom, a cold, white stone. The heat pipes rattle until dawn, and on clear nights it's possible to see stars in the black sky above Tenth Avenue. Shelby always sleeps more at this time of year; she hibernates, especially now that she's alone, no relationship other than the one with her dogs. She gets home from work and climbs into bed, where she eats a bowl of reheated Chinese food while she watches the news. Bad news on every channel. All Shelby knows is that the worst things happen in winter. This is not a scientific deduction, just a human observation. Shelby's car accident was in winter, her mother was diagnosed with cancer in winter, her little dog Blinkie had to have his eye removed in winter. Shelby always runs out of money at this time of year, she slips on the ice, she has midterms in winter, she's late to work at Petco because the buses

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Alice Hoffman is the author of many best-selling novels and books of short stories. Her most recent novels are The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things. This spring Random House will publish Nightbird, a magical book for younger readers. The Witch of Truro was published in the collection Blackbird House.

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