For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“The Goddess Parka”

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

Excerpt

“You don't think he has a lady friend in Komarovka, eh?” Alevtina asked.

“How would I know?” the landlady croaked, and then stood up to go to bed early because, she explained importantly, she was allergic to the sun and got up to pee at four. She relieved herself under the berry bushes, “for fertilizer,” and shuffled inside.

Little stars sprinkled across the darkening sky. Alevtina sighed deeply in the direction of the porch. Nina, that's who he needs. Thirty-seven years old, a pharmacist, mother died recently, lives in a studio on the outskirts. Her few admirers had been shooed off by the old witch, who had been correct: where would the newlyweds sleep – under mama's bed? (Nina's mom was a distant relative of Alevtina's husband.) Well, well, hummed Alevtina.