Winter 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 1 FictionJanuary 1, 2000 |

The Empty Beach

It rains. Les Lianes, her family's summer house on the Cote D'Azur, floods. Agnes and her mother use old sheets to clean the floors. They work all morning, and by afternoon, the place is dry, but the tiles are stained black with rainwater. It is September. Agnes and her family should be back in The Hague. Agnes should be in school. They should have left the Riviera with the other summer people, but this year, nothing is normal—her parents are fighting and it is not certain when they will leave. The rain continues. Every day. All day long. The gray clouds are low and heavy. The fog no longer clears by noon. Agnes, without school, or friends, wanders the seaside village of Villefranche-sur-mer. The mountains east of Nice are dotted with boarded-up summer rentals. The stone wall, the wet sand, the empty beach, the large stones, the found rope, the glass wine bottles. Her world. These are the things she knows best. Agnes stays by the water's edge and follows the

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Sharon Dilworth is the author of two collections of short stories, The Long White and Women Drinking Benedictine, as well as a novel, Year of the Gingko. She had two books forthcoming this year, a novel—My Riviera and Two Sides, Three Rivers, a collection of short stories all set in Pittsburgh where she is the director of the creative writing program at Carnegie Mellon University.

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Fitting

By Edith Pearlman

It rains. Les Lianes, her family's summer house on the Cote D'Azur, floods. Agnes and her mother use old sheets to clean the floors. They work all morning, and by […]

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