Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Lloyd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lloyd. Show all posts

30 October, 2014

Jo Lloyd, "Your Magic Summer"

Duncan wants to live "the life of action" but "All he had ever really done for sure, in his life of political action, was shout." He has been to prison for some sort of breaking and entering plus, I believe, political and/or environmental activism as have some of his friends. He has never really supported himself financially. The story moves around his family and relationships.

Lottie has been battling an illness and "When the doctors smiled their secret smiles at the reflexology (It won't do any harm, they said), Lottie decided not to tell them about the diet." Most of the characters in the story self-diagnose and believe that "They want to keep us passive. Drug us stupid with shopping and the Internet." I laughed out loud at this "He supported her efforts to stay toxin-free, but did not always remember her rules. (Surely pizza doesn't count?)"

The story shows the failure of Duncan's relationships and then that his activism has been mostly shouting. He finds out that Carmen, his first girlfriend, "Had the courage of her convictions. Her fucking stupid convictions." His parents feature in a section or two. The story is 18 pages long and 11 sections. For a short story, there are quite a few people and scenes but it has the concision of a short story in the beautifully written sentences. Every character has a purpose for existing in the story and builds an example of a lifestyle that in the end "has been mostly shouting."

"Your Magic Summer" is included in the autumn 2014 issue of The Southern Review.

Favorite Lines:
"Things that might be useful, things that might be mended, and things that could never be used or mended but that had absorbed into themselves too much of the careful hope with which they had been acquired for anyone to be able to get rid of them."