Four Stories I Loved Reading: July 19 – 25

Knowing by Amy Chen in The Cincinnati Review
“Let’s look in the phone book and see if we can find Shiao Gee Gee’s phone number. We can say we are running a special on coffins, buy one get one free…” Amy Chen brings us with such grace to that moment when our perfect image of the elders in our lives start to crack.

No Great Myth by Jasmine Sawers in TSS
“There is no perfect lover whose name is written in your stars, no heart-twin torn from your side by a vengeful god, no gossamer thread connecting one lonely pinkie to the other over any earthly space…” Flash fiction is rightly accused of weighing heavily on the misery side. Jasmine Sawers stands on the side of hope and jumps hard to repair the balance a little. After reading this story I showed it to my beloved partner of 30 years and said, “Yes. This.”

Cross-eyed Girl by Sobia Ali in Necessary Fiction
“Years later, moments after she narrowly escapes the fate of Joyce’s Eveline and is safely inside the train…” Sobia Ali gives us a moment in a small town that’s simultaneously moving in a blur and at a glacial pace and as a result we’re enthralled. The titular cross-eyed girl broke my heart. I WAS her, so grateful for attention it made the mocking bearable.

Voice Recorder by Ashley Hajimirsadeghi in Flash Fiction Magazine
“Rewind. It’s summer, in Baltimore, back when we were teens. We grab Coke cans and chicken from Royal Farms before heading to the Gunpowder River…” I don’t know why people wish for miracles when this writing magic exists, the magic that makes us care about people we have never met who don’t exist and have never existed, feeling tearful for what aren’t people at all but only marks on a page. Bravo, Ashley.

Join me next week, for four more fantastic stories.