Month: August 2014

“Cross” by Rebecca Makkai

I am a big fan of Rebecca Makkai’s short stories. She was in Best American Short Stories four years in a row (2008-2011). Her work is consistently strong and interesting. You can read examples at Five Chapters and Nashville Review.

Her story “Cross” (Michigan Quarterly Review) stuck out to me because it’s about musicians–a topic I hope to address at some point in my writing–and because it has a happy ending. My stories tend to be not-so-happy, and I find happy endings difficult to pull off convincingly.  This one was particularly nice because the story was not obviously one that would end well.  Read it and see what you think.

“The Grechtzoar” Available in Potomac Review Issue 55

woods

My new short story, “The Grechtzoar,” is now available in Potomac Review Issue 55, Fall 2014.

Here’s a short excerpt:

“We’ll need weapons,” Carl said.  They stood in Jimmy’s garage, surrounded by bags of potting soil and gardening tools.  Carl hefted a small shovel.  “Think you can handle this?”

Jimmy nodded and took it, lifting it nervously to see if he could swing it against an attacker.  Though only half his height, it was heavy, with a thick, sharp blade.

“I’ll take these,” Carl said.  He picked up a pair of long garden shears.  “Okay, here’s the plan.”  He opened his backpack to show Jimmy the contents: a folded blue tarp, a package of raw beef, and rope.  “We’ll follow its tracks into the woods.  When we find its lair, we’ll climb a tree nearby.  I’ll toss the beef, and when it’s eating, I’ll throw the tarp down on it.  Then we’ll tie it up.”

Jimmy kept hoping his mom would call them in for lunch, or that his cell phone would ring and he’d have to answer it.

“What if it attacks us?” he asked.

“It it attacks one of us, the other can fight it off.”  Carl pretended to snap his garden shears at a vicious beast.  “Take that!  And that!”  He laughed.

Jimmy imagined what they would look like to a monster sneaking up from behind: two vulnerable backs, laughably armed in the wrong direction.  Short twelve-year-old legs that couldn’t run fast enough, no matter how hard they tried….

You can read the rest of the story by purchasing the issue here.

Thanks to everyone at Potomac Review for creating such a beautiful issue, and thanks for reading!