For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form


Sallie Bingham


“I thought they'd keep her in Rome because of her friendship with the Pope—she's an RC, children,” the mother explained. The girl knew the initials were a kind of soft drink, and once again she was baffled. 

“The Pope's turned out to be a weak reed,” the father explained, “absolutely useless to us in this case, as he was during the war.”

The girl had seen a portrait of a pope at the convent school—a stretched-out, greenish figure in a red robe—and so she could imagine quite easily that under that robe there was only a reed.

We read it in Mending.