The following is an excerpt from a forthcoming novel by Amérique Nakamura
In the lobby of the old hotel was a fountain. Within it was a stone face. The face was the face of a young child, a girl, scrunched in concern of some very serious thought, surely. Her hair was tied on each side in braids and fell gently, though stone, atop each almost-bare shoulder as she wore a light sundress. She sat on her little island as if on the edge of something and about to fall in but in that something there was nothing—the water wouldn’t flow from the fountain until closer to the evening and it was only close to close to evening. He knew this. From where he sat in the hotel café he could see the fountain in the hotel lobby. The girl was but one part of a much grander design but ideology prevented him from seeing past the individual. He looked at the face long enough until it seemed to reflect him rather than some pale imitation.
He sipped his coffee. He asked it without cream. We’re all out of cream, they said, all we have is milk. He got it without milk.
He was nearly done until she arrived and took the seat opposite him. He looked from her stone face to her stone face.