For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Terminal”

J. Erin Sweeney

Excerpt

These are ends, but they are also beginnings, and in life they will end and begin again and again. Every time something happens a world of possible action opens up, and possible meanings. But in fiction every story is an end, because we are only reading the end. Its last notes are sonorous and beautiful and final. They are beautiful. They are final.

Say a marriage is tragic. Say that the people close to the couple can find no words for the things they have done. Say at every point where the body of the world touches their bodies, people have bad dreams and lose their faith and turn their eyes away from things they once trusted. Even if this is true, it doesn't matter: it isn't the end.

We read it in McSweeney's Issue 20.