For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“I Want This Always”

Jon Steinhagen


#212a—A healthy gust for the first kite of the season redolent of the dense woods surrounding the hill upon which the kite mingles with other kites with just a hint of fresh dogwood and deer; your father is with you. Vintage 1965.

A man named Hellison orders #35.

#35—A strong lakeside zephyr; northerly, fresh with midnight and prom corsages and charter boat thrusting through the dark waves. On the cold side; give her your coat. Vintage 1987.

Hellison tells no one, not even his wife. Hellison waits. Hellison has second thoughts about blowing twenty-five bucks on what is obviously a hoax. Hellison waits. Hellison is home when the box is delivered. Hellison is surprised to read the simple instructions: Place this canister in the corner of the room in which you wish to experience it, open it, sit down, close yours eyes, and enjoy.

We read it in The American Reader.