For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“The Third Son”

Andrey Platonov


After completing the brief rite, the priest quickly gathered his things, then extinguished the candles burning around the coffin and packed all his goods back into his officer’s kitbag. The father of the sons put some money into his hand, and the priest, without lingering, made his way through the line of six men, not one of whom looked at him, and timidly disappeared through the door. Really, he would have liked to stay in the house for the wake, discuss the prospects of wars and revolutions, and draw lasting comfort from a meeting with representatives of the new world he secretly admired but was unable to enter; he dreamed in solitude about how one day he would all of a sudden accomplish a heroic feat and so burst into the brilliant future, into the circle of the new generations — to this end he had even submitted a request to the local aerodrome, asking to be taken up to the very highest altitude and to be dropped from there by parachute without an oxygen mask, but he had not received any reply.