Crooked Tales: Short and Cool

big bike

“The cool thing about reading is that when you read a short story or you read something that takes your mind and expands where your thoughts can go, that’s powerful.”

Taylor Swift


Enrich Relatable Experiences with Short Stories

With a Smartphone, eBook, or paperback easily at hand, it is easy to read anywhere. Let us count real reading moments that fill the void of time otherwise wasted:

  1. Waiting on your cappuccino’s slow barista—taste the richness of fantasy.

  2. The bus is late again—time travel across the written page.

  3. Work is a chaotic hassle—escape into the realm of romance.

  4. The flight’s delayed yet another hour—far-off lands sit open in your hands.

  5. Terrified at the dentist—use that fear for tales of horror.

  6. Drudgery of the daily commute—spirit away on distant adventures.

  7. Alone at lunch break—enjoy the company of quirky characters.

  8. Dullness of the bathroom—well, it’s now considerably more interesting.

  9. After your lover leaves—relish the literary companionship of great affairs.

In these and other life-moments, the short story is an entertaining and thoughtful companion—a bite-sized dose of thrills, chills, passion, or humor.


ct-dixon

In the company of thieves, it’s all about loyalty.

“Set For Saturday”

Keith Dixon

            On reading Keith Dixon’s short story I immediately thought of an old saying my mother would often quote. “There is honor among thieves”. As a child I didn’t quite understand what she was saying; criminals don’t get in the way of other criminals. They have their own code of honor which may not make sense to regular folk. This theme holds true in “Set For Saturday”. Des is about to engage in a crime with fellow thief Billy and his unease is evident from the beginning. Billy is obviously experienced while Des admits it is his “first time”. His uncertainty is palpable and it’s concerning to Billy who has apparently gone on out on a limb to get him in on the deal.

            Billy is also worried about Des’s budding relationship with Carol and the possibility he might reveal his criminal escapade so encourages him to break off with her. Des himself is conflicted about his feelings both about the upcoming crime and his feelings for Carol. In a strange way he is beleaguered by his own morality. He’s made a commitment to Billy that requires him to lie to Carol. This quandary is fascinating because it is also a dilemma between a rational moral impasse and an illicit one.

            Dixon winds the story up neatly and I found myself smiling at the end. Perhaps it is not the ideal conclusion in the eyes of most people but I found it quite satisfying.


ct-sengul

The mother of all arguments, taken to the grave, and beyond.

 “Cold”

Lubna Sengul

            I found “Cold” by Lubna Sengul to be disturbingly tragic. Told from the point of view of a child who has been murdered by her mother it tugs at the heart. The spirit of Sarah May does what any child lost in the woods will do, she heads for home. However unpleasant and painful her home life had been, it was there she could find her mother. Even the most severely abused child will often cling to her mother and Sarah is no different. While she recognizes her killing may have been accidental she still cannot understand how her mother could abandon her small body to the dark woods. Underneath is a desire to have her corpse found and she works toward achieving that goal.

            More than anything else however Sarah wants her mother’s attention and an explanation for what has happened. Gravitating between a need for her mother’s love and a hunger for revenge, Sarah continues to haunt her mother causing all manner of havoc in the woman’s life.

As I read I found myself wondering where was the justice for Sarah? Mother has no answer for Sarah although the response is clear to the reader. Mother was a selfish woman who cared only for herself and her needs. This is impossible for the child to understand. The child has unqualified love for her murderous mother. Yet the mother still holds the little girl responsible for the crime and the subsequent events accepting no responsibility for what she has done.

            Fortunately justice is served and it is served cold as Sengul notes revenge is best served that way.


Final Cover
Available on Amazon

About Readers Circle of Avenue Park

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