A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra:
“Are you a bearded one?” she asked.
He reached for his whiskers in embarrassment. “No, no. Absolutely not. I just haven’t shaved recently.”
“What do you want?”
He nodded to the girl. She wore an orange scarf, an oversized pink coat, and a sweatshirt advertising Manchester United, likely, Sonja imagined, from the glut of Manchester apparel that had flooded clothing-drive donations after Beckham was traded to Madrid. She had the pale, waxen skin of an unripe pear. When Sonja approached, the girl had raised the lid of the suitcase, slipped her hand inside, and held an object hidden from Sonja’s view.