For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

Week n° 42: August 12, 2013

I find comfort in the idea that we are who we are in the moment and once it passes we may become someone else.

Author of this year's Rose Metal Press short short chapbook contest, The Kind of Girl

An Interview with Rick Moody at The Outlet:

Yes, limitations, somewhat haphazardly imposed, are a great thing. You know the famous remark of Robert Frost about free-verse? That it’s like playing tennis with the net down? For me, the limitations you are referring to are playing tennis with the net up. If you erect one of these impediments to progress, you have to come up with a work- around, and the work-around often causes you to think in new ways about your subject. In a way, the impediments cause metaphor to happen, and I often suddenly think anew when I am forced into metaphor and analogy to say what I was going to say in a more direct way.

Our recommendations this week

The Silk Handkerchief

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. 

Sarah Palin Night

It was a Sunday afternoon, siesta time: my phone buzzed in my pocket. ‘Is this Austiín Fernández Mallo?’ ‘Yes, who is this?’ ‘The Republican Party Department of Lotteries and Prize Draws, Washington D.C., we are calling to inform you that you have won.’ ‘Won? Won what?’ ‘Isn't this Austiín Fernández Mallo, a Spaniard residing in the city of Chicago?’ 

I know I should have told the truth to that female, Puerto Rican-inflected voice, I know I should have told her that that was a different Agustín, that I was not currently vacationing in Spain, that I did not work as a teller at Bank of America branch no. five in the city of Chicago, that I was not 34 years old, the fact is, I should have said many things I did not say because, following my reply in the affirmative, the Puerto Rican woman informed me that I had won a trip to accompany the vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on the campaign trail. It’s not that I have anything against accompanying a potential US Vice President, but rather that I would all of a sudden be obliged to request my one month vacation allowance. I was at that time bogged down in the writing of a blow-by-blow account of Great Britain in the seventies, focusing on sitcoms and the onset of punk, and I had set that month aside to watch the six seasons of George and Mildred back-to-back (available at El Corte Inglés, on sale right now).

We read it in The White Review.

Translated by: Michael Devitt. Full story online.