Fall 2005 • Vol. XXVII No. 4 Fiction |

Lucky

The sound of cries from the cottage next door drift across the lawn to where Helen is sitting on her deck painting a picture and it takes her a moment to recognize what they are. A woman having an orgasm. The young tenant's girlfriend, she thinks. It is a Sunday in June and the only other sound Helen hears is the twittering of the barn swallows who, miraculously—or so it seems to Helen—have returned from Peru or from somewhere in South America to the very same nest they built last year which is right over the door leading from the house to Helen's deck and are now noisily occupied feeding their young. The tenant, a carpenter, is named Craig and he is tall and has curly red hair and Helen knows little about him except that, so far—he has been renting the cottage since March only—he has been a good tenant. He has paid his rent on time and has not yet given Helen cause for complaint by playing loud music or by blocking her parking spot with his white truck. Quite the contrary,

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Lily Tuck is the author of five novels, including The News from Paraguay, which won the National Book Award, two story collections, and a biography of the Italian writer Elsa Morante. Her forthcoming novel, The Double Life of Liliane, will be published in the fall.

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The sound of cries from the cottage next door drift across the lawn to where Helen is sitting on her deck painting a picture and it takes her a moment […]

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