Short Stories All the Time

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

10 December, 2015

Julia Strayer, "Let's Say"

This short, short story told in first-person tells the story of a woman who has been shot in the chest, ostensibly, and left to die in the parking lot at Elm Street. The woman relives life with her daughter, swinging her in the swings at the park but "with each push she [the daughter] becomes a year older." Then the narrator's thinking extends to seeing her daughter's adult life and even the anger that will build in her.

The robber is a "twitchy," young man who rushes home to his mother, tells her what he's done, and as she tries to help him, the story ends with her options, helping him or reporting him. It is amazing how much is revealed about the perpetrator, as well as the main character. Mothers do all sorts of theoretical gymnastics in attempting to deal with the scary job of raising children. "Let's Say" deals not only with the victim's story but with the mother of the perpetrator. Once a child is born, nearly everyday is a futile exercise of what-will-I-do-if and the perpetual guilt that we, mothers, could have done more or something differently.

"Let's Say" was first published in SmokeLong Quarterly and then included in The Best Small Fictions, 2015.

LINKS:
Full text of the story at SmokeLong Quarterly
Interview with Julia Strayer and Shelly Weathers at SmokeLong