When violence has seeped into the very soil and water of a place, the peace that follows is poisoned too. And everywhere, stories rise to the surface. In the uneasy, purgatory-like time of ceasefire, there is a sense of renewed optimism. An old man recalls the dream romance of Rwmaii and Sylvia, interrupted by her marriage to a militant. A journalist doesn’t know what to do with a murder story that could have been a scoop. A mysterious gun-flute man maintains both peace and terror. An unlikely acquaintance walks Sultana home through an undeclared curfew. In Parismita Singh’s luminous, haunting stories of these years of imminent peace, the rivers, forests, villages, and the many cultures of a small place – Rabha, Bodo, Santhal, Nepali, Koch-Rajbongshi, Muslim – come blazingly alive. To read these stories is to rewire our ideas of war, resolution, and the lives that are lived in between.