First Lines: The Dead Lion

Thought I’d begin a new thing here where I share the first few lines of my favorite books. There are many, but to start, and because I’m a loathing, self-loving writer, I’ll turn of course not to someone else’s but to the book I am working on at the moment:

In the late evenings of that summer he would sit with her photo at the table in the middle of their small kitchen and by the light of the lowly stove lamp study the old road atlas. There all the land opened wholly before him, pallid and bleak in the dim lit night, the corners reaching skyward and curling, the paper folds thin and deteriorating, like life itself, and he like a wretched lost pilgrim searching for what he knew not amongst the smudges and gray silhouettes, a bloodshot array of roadwork, some mark perhaps on that pale depthless country on which to affix for himself a crude bearing. —The Dead Lion, by moi

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