For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“The Back Room”

Intizar Husain


The threshold of the back room appeared to her to be a boundary to a dark land. As she stepped across the dust-coated sill, her hert began pounding. She moved slowly and deliberately into the dark room, always apprehensive and on the verge of turning back. Her perception of this room had changed many times. Out there, on the other side of the sill, was another world: dark but comforting and familiar. Often after playing in  he scorching sun in the lane or courtyard, she entered the back room to hide behind its doors or slip behind the dirty tarnished cauldron in one of the corners. The cooling darkness quenched her flushed, warm body. Her feet luxuriated in the cill of the soft soil. Mother was alive then.