Splinters of Light
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But every medium transmits certain frequencies of light especially well, and if the pulse contains these favored frequencies, they can break off into precursors, discrete packets of slower- or faster-moving light that separate from the original pulse. Researchers predicted these renegade pulses in but haven't seen them until now because precursors are slippery, always changing frequencies. A pulse so short has no crisp frequency because of quantum uncertainty; instead it contains a range of frequencies, including water's preferred ones.
These preferred frequencies should attenuate much less than the light pulse as a whole.
Review: Splinters of Light by Rachael Herron – Punctuality Rules!
And that's just what they saw: a strong flash of light 1 meter away from the light source--a million times stronger than the original pulse should be at that range. This "enormous" effect is clear evidence of a precursor flash, says theoretical physicist John Klauder of the University of Florida, Gainesville, who studies precursors for the U. By Meredith Wadman Jul. By Dennis Normile Jul. By Charles Piller Jul. She knew how to say it, how to talk people through it. The app, with its instructional guided meditations, was going to be her ticket.
BreathingRoom would take off. Any day now. She chose the big red chair and a half Nora had bought on her advice years ago. Besides my bed. So tell me. I can tell something is. It was silly. They were forty-four, and still the prospect of a sleepover with her sister and niece made Mariana giddily happy. Nora knew how much Mariana loved fresh orange juice and always had it made, squeezed by hand, by the time Mariana wandered downstairs. In return, Mariana—the pancake queen—would flip perfect chocolate chip pancakes, one after another, for Nora, who could pack away an astounding number of them.
Once her sister had managed to eat seventeen while Mariana and Ellie roared with laughter. Are you okay? But Nora was the other half of her coin. Mariana knew exactly how to flip her into the air. Then she actually took it with her to the library, if you can believe it. Mariana could. She looked over her shoulder at the front door.
Is he really not coming over? With some difficulty, Mariana stopped herself from laughing. It was the way Nora said it. Her voice was thready. Just a man. Just a boy problem. Easiest thing in the world. In front of her, Mariana leaned forward and bared her teeth, aiming for her knee. Tell me. They talked to each other. Every day. They always had, about everything.
And yet, even yet, sometimes nothing was said. Mariana swallowed. She told Mariana when Whole Foods ran out of the local Zocalo dark roast she loved best. She told her about her bad dreams.
The words made Nora want to take back the apology, as sincere as it had been. There was no rule she had to tell Mariana anything at all. Tell me everything. Nora could only squeak. She held a finger to her lips and looked over her shoulder toward the staircase.
Book Review: Splinters of Light By Rachael Herron
It had been years since Ellie had hidden there, listening, but it could still happen. Remember when we went to the lake a few years back with Ellie and him? Nora had shared her aloe vera gel. Mariana shrugged, tucking her fist under her chin, catching it between her jaw and clavicle. Happens all the time. Look at me and Luke. Nora shook her head, but her heart felt light, like it was made of paper. They had. She knew that. It was nice to have something to blame it on.
He wanted more. I drank so much last night. Can hardly remember a thing! Me, too. Not once in two months. Mariana scrambled to her feet. Your other one. Mariana was teasing. Nora sucked in a breath. But she had. You know how I get when you do. It was true. Sometimes it seemed like nothing in the whole world could truly upset Mariana except for seeing Nora cry. When Paul left, Mariana would climb behind Nora in her bed, unable to look her in the face while she howled, wrapping her arms around her, able to console Nora only from the back, only from where she was safe from the tears.
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When hit face-to-face with them in the kitchen, at the grocery store , her cheeks went pale, her skin tone almost sallow. Nora suspected Mariana felt physically ill when she cried, actually experiencing nausea. It must be nice to be so strong you felt queasy in the face of weakness. Or something. Have some goat cheese. Think of the kids. The damned crying—maybe it was a symptom of something. She really wanted to google it, but she was worried it would confirm a perimenopause diagnosis.
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She wiped them away impatiently. God, Jesus, you are. Stop it. This stupid water keeps coming out of my eyes. How much had she heard? She sounded young. They had prompted an essay, actually, about finding joy in craft store sale bins. Nora watched the two of them embrace.
Her sister and her daughter. She was used to it, after all. Inside, Nora felt a tiny bloom of fear, a terrified algae spreading through her blood. She reached into her jeans pocket to touch the piece of beach glass she kept there. Smooth and warm, as usual. Then she stood with them. Sparkling apple cider? Maybe Ellie could tell Aunt Mariana about what had happened. When the house was dark and her aunt was in the guest bed. Maybe she could sneak in and tell her. She should have cleaned her screen.
The black background of the clock was showing all the smudges, especially at the bottom where the keyboard normally was. What would happen in the next year? Smith, if she was lucky, far away. It was the largest of the Seven Sisters colleges. UCLA was on the short list, too, and she was considering Portland, even though she had no clue what she wanted to do. To be. It was only the rest of her life at stake. Every once in a while, though, it made Ellie feel lonely.
Her half sister, TeeTee, was eleven and a total brat. Her stepmom totally did the whole makeup and puffy hair Toddlers and Tiaras thing. It was creepy. Other days she wondered if she was just making up the memories, crafting them from photographs, stitching them together with wishes like her mom stuck rickrack to kitschy potholders. Sometimes she just wanted to be the most important person to someone. That was all. But she knew the truth. She was okay with it, mostly. They were probably already talking about her going away to college so they could have sex in every room.
Loud, middle-aged, horrifying sex. You would think once anyone hit forty , they would give up on the idea.
What was the point? Also, gross. It had been pretty clear. Ellie would have preferred it, though, if it had just remained a suspicion. Hearing it confirmed while she was coming down the stairs—that was just disgusting. It changed immediately from kind of amusing to just plain awful. No whoring around. The janitor. But that was hilarious. That was just Vani. Ellie stared at the numbers on her phone, which were changing so slowly she could almost hear the electrons inside gathering, rallying to change shape and charge.
No whoring around, Mom. Even thinking the words made her kind of want to cry. What if they wanted to get married or something? What would happen to the house? What if Mom sold it when she went to college? One of the cafeteria workers would probably take her home with her that night, saying that any girl needed to be in a warm family home on Christmas Eve.
But the cafeteria worker who ushered her into an old station wagon driven by her red-cheeked husband lived just a bit upstate, and in her imagination, they sped through New York, the husband surprisingly good at jostling for road space among the bossy taxicabs. He drove hard and fast until they reached a country road lined by trees covered with snow, and then, inside the cozy suburban home, they sat Ellie next to their four children and fed her Jell-O and slices of salami the dad had cured in the workshop out back.
It was practically a story. Ellie imagined herself writing it out. Maybe she would try later. She kept trying to finish short stories, but the most she ever got was a few pages in before they seemed as lame and stupid as the pink baby-duck pajamas her mom had bought her. It was weird how good a writer she always thought she was until she actually tried to write anything. Not knowing about Mom and Harrison hurt her feelings, that was all.
Like you always do. Did something happen between you two? Every other minute of the day was consumed: by water polo practice in the morning, by the following seven periods of classes, then by homework at the study center her mom insisted was to help her learn study skills but Ellie knew was actually an expensive form of babysitting. Then her mother picked her up and took her home, where she had eyes in the back of her head. Watch TV. Were they just a bit too long, or fat in the base, or. It was something to think about. But there might be pluses to this, if it happened. And he had that whole third floor that he kept saying he was going to make into a separate apartment—maybe he would do that for her.
That would be something. Sam and Vani would like that.
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Ellie had done that only once, and honestly, it had felt less weird pushing the send button than it had lifting her bra so Samantha could snap the picture of her breasts. Not like Eric or Jake would even know which girl was which except for Vani—her bra size went along with her experience , but it was still weird.
What if Eric, who had built a working Tesla coil in his garage, had figured out how to get around the thing that disallowed screenshots, and a picture of her naked chest was out there? What if it was recognizable? On one side, her mother clutched her hand. It kind of hurt. On her left, Aunt Mariana took her other hand, her skin cool and soft, reassuring as always. Time for someone else to have a turn. She flung it open. Are you happy? She heard fireworks and the faint pops of gunfire. You two just keep drinking. You can have my lemon and honey.
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