Zeffirino looked at her and a number of times thought she was on the very point of starting again; but no, not even one tear came out
— Italo Calvino, from “Big Fish, Little Fish” in The Picador Book of the Beach
They wept together, for the things they now knew.
— Jhumpa Lahiri, from “A Temporary Matter” in Interpreter of Maladies
We could ride around out in the gulf on the swimming horses until they tired, casting and drinking, searching for what we were after, pausing sometimes to lean forward and whisper kind things, encouragement, into the horses’ ears, as they labored through the waves, blowing hard through their nostrils, legs kicking and churning, swimming around in wide circle out in the gulf, in the darkness, the snow; no doubt full of their own fears of sharks, of drowning, of going down under too heavy of a load, and of all the things unseen, all the things below.
— Rick Bass, from “Redfish” in The Picador Book of the Beach
That body thrashed and whitened the water, throttling out, vibrating, parts shearing away, roaring white hot, and all the way down she felt young and strong and perfect in the cold darkness.
— Tim Winton, from “The Water was Dark and It Went Forever Down” in The Picador Book of the Beach
[I am only witness to a language.] The air is yours; it is water circling in like departure.
— Jayne Anne Phillips, from “Bluegill”
But they also knew that everything would be different from then on, that their houses would have wider doors, higher ceilings, and stronger floors so that Esteban’s memory could go everywhere without bumping into beams and so that no one in the future would dare whisper the big boob finally died, too bad, the handsome fool has finally died, because they were going to paint their house fronts gay colors to make Esteban’s memory eternal and they were going to break their backs digging for springs among the stones and planting flowers on the cliffs so that in future years at dawn the passengers on great liners would awaken, suffocated by the smell of gardens on the high seas, and the captain would have to come down from the bridge in his dress uniform, with his astrolabe, his pole star, and his row of war medals and, pointing to the promontory of roses on the horizon, he would say in fourteen languages, look there, where the wind is so peaceful now that it’s gone to sleep beneath the beds, over there, where the sun’s so bright that the sunflowers don’t know which way to turn, yes, over there, that’s Esteban’s village.
— Gabriel García Márquez, from “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”