Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Down Bayou Black," by Gay Degani

There was a time when I was thoroughly engrossed with the writings of Cornell Woolrich. His noir fiction is thick with impenetrable shadows, howls in the night, and hunted characters who hold on to motives as tightly as the men who hold their guns in a Brinks truck. So with this story I enjoyed a brief deja vue but in a different place and time. Degani has a clear sense of a particular South, “bayou as black as molasses in moonlight.” The reader sympathizes with the narrator who needs relief from pneumonia, and later we learn she has another reason to leave home. The ending holds suspense as well it should and offers clarity beyond the muddy water where she finds herself. Read it here in 101 Flash.

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