For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“The Silk Handkerchief”

Sait Faik Abasiyanik


As a boy in Emir Sultan, I would often go sledding on moonlight nights, and this boy reminded me of the friends I had made there.

I could imagine his skin going as dark as theirs in the summer. As dark as the water in the Gökdere pools we could hear bubbling in the distance. As dark as the pits of summer fruit.

I looked at him more closely: His olive skin was as dark as a walnut fresh from its green shell. His teeth were as fine and white as the flesh inside. In summer, and right through to the end of walnut season, boys' hands smell only of peaches and plums in this place, and their chests give off the aroma of hazel leaves as they roam the streets half-naked in their buttonless striped shirts.