For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Emergency”

Denis Johnson

Excerpt

We bumped softly down a hill toward an open field that seemed to be a military graveyard, filled with rows and rows of austere, identical markers over soldiers' graves. I'd never before come across this cemetery. On the farther side of the field, just beyond the curtains of snow, the sky was torn away and the angels were descending out of a brilliant blue summer, their huge faces streaked with light and full of pity. The sight of them cut through my heart and down the knuckles of my spine, and if there'd been anything in my bowels I would have messed my pants from fear.

Georgie opened his arms and cried out, “It's the drive-in, man!”

“The drive-in...” I wasn't sure what these words meant.

“They're showing movies in a fucking blizzard!” Georgie screamed.

“I see. I thought it was something else,” I said.

We read it in Jesus' Son.

Originally published in The New Yorker: Sept 16 1991.