Editorial: Beyond Repair Wendy Nikel
How can you tell when something’s broken beyond repair?
For some things, it’s easy to tell when they’re beyond the help of Gorilla Glue or duct tape: a shattered glass, a watch that no longer tells time, a semi truck tire spreading strips of popped rubber on the highway.
But some things are more difficult to tell when it’s truly irreparable. My computer, for one. Does it just need cleaned up, defragmented, rebooted? Or am I just buying myself a few more hours until the blue screen of death? When something important or valuable breaks, how much money or time or energy are you willing to put into its recovery? When do you decide to cut your losses and let go?
This month’s flash stories all involve things that are broken, be it household appliances, relationships, the idealism of youth, the expectations for one’s life, society, or the world itself. Which are repairable? Which are worth the effort to try to repair? What do you do when you just don’t know?
Watch as a couple faces the ruination of something of particular importance to their household in Joy Kennedy-O’Neill’s “Machine Love” (Aug 6). Flee the shattered remnants of a war-ravaged city in “Art of War” by Mira Jiang (Aug 13). Join a woman in her quest to find just what her child needs to be whole in “The Songs Her Mother Used to Sing” by Aimee Ogden (Aug 20). And pick up the pieces of what’s left after the battle in “Fifteen Minutes Past the End” by T. R. Siebert (Aug 27).
These stories may be small, at under 1000 words apiece, but they’re sure to leave you in pieces.
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