Short Changed

I enjoyed the sense of change that I got out of this month’s short stories. They capture a lot about change in a very short space.

In Camille Alexa’s slipstream piece “Girl-Shaped Jar,” a woman who needs to change makes a decision to do so and follows through on it. Her choice of changes is not what I would have expected. This is one of those stories that has an unreal premise but feels real in its execution.

Nikki Loftin’s fantasy “Change” contains even more dramatic changes in a young woman — nominal woman? estwhile woman? — for whom doing something normal is the odd part of the story. I really like the heroine, and by the time I’m done with the story I wish her well at trying to be merely mundane.

Heather Kuehl provides a mainstream story that I’m running in honor of Memorial Day (Monday, May 30, here in the U.S.): “What Heroes Do”. I was in the Marines in the early 90s, right after Desert Storm; I never lost a loved one, but we had the continual awareness that our lives could be on the line at any moment. To all you in the service of our country and our allies, Semper Fidelis.

Our Classic Flash this month is from the inimitable and Kate Chopin, “Doctor Chevalier’s Lie”. There’s an intensity in the interaction of these three characters, namely the doctor, the suicide, and society. The use of passive voice at the end might be, for me, the most touching part: “Shoulders were shrugged.”

Bruce Holland Rogers continues his series with “Tea Party Rules.” Don’t worry, he’s not getting political; he discusses the story contract. Excellent, as always.

Please enjoy the stories, and remember, comments are like gold to authors.