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The Short Form

“Mr. Morning”

Siri Hustvedt

Excerpt

“Is there something you want to remember about this girl who died?” I asked.

“Why do you say that?” He jerked his head toward me.

“Because you obviously want something out of all this. You want these descriptions for a reason. When you mentioned those trunks, I thought you might want to trigger a memory.”

He looked away again. “A memory of a whole world,” he said.

“But I thought you hardly knew her, Mr. Morning.”

He picked up a pencil and began to doodle on a notebook page. “Did I tell you that?”

“Yes, you did.”

We read it in Best American Short Stories 1990.

Originally published in The Ontario Review 30.