Monday, February 7, 2011

"Touch," by Jesse Goolsby

This is a prize story, winner of the 2010 Bausch Short Story award. Goolsby writes with some military experience behind him and evokes the emotional trauma of a soldier who returns from Afghanistan. A strong narrative voice delivers the soldier’s particular experience with the horrors of war. The core of the story rests on the character’s life upon returning home. The experience of touch can be more difficult to receive than give when emotional response has been programmed for defensive alert. He realizes, “I’ve forgotten how to touch my children.” During a game of singing the alphabet with his daughters and the persistent touch of his wife’s hands, this veteran is nudged back on the road to emotional response. Read it here at Our Stories.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Last Night and Other Stories," by Lucy Jane Bledsoe

Part way through reading, this story took me off guard. I wasn’t prepared for a certain revelation that can only be experienced by the reader first hand; otherwise, to reveal it here would weaken any initial reading. The strong voice of the narrator carries the story. She’s fascinating in the way that Scheherazade might have been to the king. This contemporary story spinner is both a creator of lies and aware of her guilty participation. But tables eventually turn and she must face herself. There are many rewarding moments of surprise and especially in the way the story finds its ending. Enjoy it here at Hot Metal Bridge.