“The Cellar”

Dina Nayeri in The New York Times Magazine

Dina Nayeri's latest short story, "The Cellar," is part of the the New York Times Magazine's Decameron Project.

“‘This is nothing,’ Kamran said on the night before Paris was to retreat indoors.

Sheila looked up from their walking forms. ‘I refuse to show papers to police.’ Glancing at Nushin, she whispered, ‘They’re always young … just boys with guns they can hardly lift.’

History, Kamran reminded them, had trained them for lockdowns and famines and power-drunk police. Pandemic or not, they were still on sabbatical. They’d enjoy their new city, minus a few restaurant meals. They’d revive the window geraniums, air out the landlord’s musty linens. ‘And look at that sky, like a ripe grapefruit. Nothing can ruin a sky like that.'”

We use cookies to enhance your experience of visiting this website. Find out more.