For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Upon the Sweeping Flood”

Joyce Carol Oates


When Stuart stopped and opened the door the girl was already there, shouting, ”Going the wrong way! Wrong way!” Her face was coarse, pimply about her forehead and chin. The boy pounded up behind her, straining for air. “Where the hell are you going, mister?” the girl cried. “The storm’s coming from this way. Did you see that bastard, going right by us? Did you see him? If I see him when I get to town—” A wall of rain struck. The girl lunged forward and tried to push her way into the car; Stuart had to hold her back. “Where are your folks?” he shouted. “Let me in,” cried the girl savagely. “We’re getting out of here!” “Your folks,” said Stuart. He had to cup his mouth to maker hear. “Your folks in there!” “There ain’t anybody there—Goddamn you,” she said, twisting about to slap her brother, who had been pushing at her from behind.

We read it in High Lonesome.