Stephen Graham Jones

The Sheep You Shear Will Turn out to Have Been Koala Bears All Along, or, How to Write a Novel
  1. For no reason at all, Jenner is paranoid that one of his chickens is carrying an egg that, if hatched, could resemble him.
  2. Lexy lives at the corner and, if left alone in a closet, can open a bottle of beer with the back of her knee.
  3. Davis wears glasses he found on the side of the road. A dead lady had them half on. Nobody had found her then. Now he can’t see without them.
  4. Where a speck of meteor falls, a mushroom will grow, with a cap like an ear. For this reason, Carrie has always been tightlipped around mushrooms.
  5. One Friday night, Maxwell learned to drink the syrup of his father’s dreams. His father woke blankfaced and went through the motions of pancakes, but in the living room. Nobody ate them.
  6. With the dead lady’s glasses, Davis claims to be able to see Lexy in the closet, but really he’s seeing the last time she opened the beers, or the next. The shadowy outline of her skirt is different.
  7. Carrie sometimes lures Lexy out to the woods to get her to tell secrets. Lexy just whispers and whispers, and never looks at the ground by her feet.
  8. Maxwell’s father and Maxwell’s mother wrecked off the side of the road one night. Maxwell’s father walked in a daze through the woods until the deputies found him. Davis’s mom had a bird sitting on her face when they found her. And no glasses.
  9.  The only love note Carrie’s written so far, she left a line at the top for the name to go. Because she wants to be ready. Some of the X’s and O’s at the bottom of the page have been erased, then written in again, then erased again.
  10. The back of Lexy’s knee is ridged with scars, like letters all written in one place. All the secrets she knows have to do with Jenner, who lives next door. She sometimes sees him scurrying.
  11. Pancakes occasionally show up on the floor of the attic over Maxwell’s living room. Before they can cool, the raccoons are on them. They have hands like people and masks like people but they don’t know regret, so are just animals.
  12. For show and tell, Jenner brings his favorite chicken to class. When Davis walks in he looks into the chicken from the side and then up into Jenner, studying the line of his jaw, and then he looks as far away as he can for the rest of class. Carries writes his name on a line and then cups her hand over it, to keep it there.

Stephen Graham Jones is the author of Growing Up Dead in Texas and several other books.

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