Best Short Story of 2018

Best Short Story of 2018

The cramped oppressive space of the literary short story.  Welcome.  There will be some nice images here, in the first paragraph.  The first, a description of how she entered the house, not that she came home, no it has to be she tripped or tramped or sauntered or danced then a metaphor like a figure in a glockenspiel clock like a kitten like a force of nature, a wind, how bout this, she slid into the house like a baseball player, no not just a baseball player, a Chicago Cub, no wait not just any Chicago Cub, but a specific Chicago Cub, the more specific the better, let me google that, here’s something, like Javier Baez, wait, did I spell that right, let me go back to google, that’s right, like Javier Baez trying to steal second and failing.  I stopped her there with my mitt.  I mean my hand. 

“What do you want?” she said, in the first all-important snip of dialogue.

Then some exposition.  Sneaked in like a kid without a ticket at the movies, you hardly notice him, but he goes in through the out door.  Here it is.  Ever since the …big event, the thing in the past, the ever so looming sickening and dooming fucking awful stench of the thing that cannot be spoken about but only referred to obliquely here in the second paragraph.

I respond, “I just asked you if you would like some tea.  That’s all.  I don’t want anything.”

Who is this I?  Is it me, the author?  Or is it the literary I,, the first person?  And if it is I, what do I look like?  This is tough.  We can know what she looks like, a Glockenspiel figurine or a force of nature a wind.  But Me, how do we see me?  Do I look in the mirror?

Let me look in the mirror.

I see my grey hair in the mirror and I’m reminded of my death.

Fine, but what is my name?  I can’t really just come out and tell you my name, can I, dear reader.  Hopefully, she’ll say it.

“Please, Sam” she says.  “I’m really not in the mood to play those games.”

Alright.  We know my name.  My name is Sam.  But wait, this is tricky since you know from the by-line the author of the story is female.  Is this Sam a female or a male?  Stay tuned, I”m sure it will become clear…

….as the conflict develops.  I hope you left a trail of bread crumbs, because now that I’ve got you here in the cramped stuffy space of the literary short story, there’s really very little chance of you ever getting out alive.  You will die in here.  It is certain. 

These people, me and this girl, you’re stuck with us, dear reader.  Would you like some tea?  Why don’t you join us.  Sit down at the little table with us.  And now let me describe the table.

It’s got to be worn in some way.  Worn down by the years.  Grooves have been etched in it.  And it’s thick and heavy, this big slab of wood, and it’s not just any wood, it’s a specific wood, it’s sycamore wood, and chopped it down myself in the very back yard.  Because you know it is rural.  Literature is better rural , much better. Remember Oprah’s book club, it was all rural. 

And now the taste of the tea.

Let’s go, Swan, walk this way, swan into the past as we sip the tea, and let’s take another look at that awful thing that is between us, me and the girl, and now you, reader.  This awful thing that’s between the three of us as we sip the tea.

The literary short story.  It’s already made us all spit up and we’re only on page one and a half.



Please follow and like us: