Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Tag: short story

“One time this was fun” by Hillary Fink

I feel myself drift away. My body is no longer mine, and the words coming out of my mouth sound foreign and out of character. The car starts to pick up, and my friend’s laugh sounds as though it is light-years away, even though she is so close her hand is on top of mine . . .

“The Surrender” by John Jeremiah

I had talked myself into a luxurious three-bedroom apartment in a classic Tudor building in Jersey City. It was 1969. Back then, a suit and a little grooming would suffice if accompanied by a few months’ rent . . .

“Daddy Bats is Not Coming to Save You” by Justin Haynes

Daddy Bats lives with you in a one-bedroom flat in Belmont—until today. This morning, Daddy Bats flicks the cold from the corners of your eyes, and just after Radio Trinidad announces the day’s deaths, he marches you between lively trucks and horn-blowing super saloons up the hill to the orphanage.

“Don’t worry, son,” Daddy Bats says as he kneels before you. “Is only for a few days. Then I will save you . . .”

“El Silbón” by Montague Kobbé

It was all because of the squeal of the windshield wiper. Not the rumbling racket it made as it stammered back along the pane. No, that wasn’t so bad. But the squeal on the way down—shrill, insistent, bleak. Who could stand that shit? . . .

“Careful what you wish for” by Barbara Jenkins

Hark!

When the First People found her sparse remains, Karinya’s body had already entered the Eternal Circle of Life, her spirit as free as the corbeaux circling overhead.

Wait. It’s chilly here. Let me get more comfortable . . .

“Searching for Graceland” by Vanessa de Sade

Even though it was June, the entire island was still engulfed in a soft gray mist like a widow’s mane, and I felt it caress my face with curiously skeletal fingers as I stepped gingerly down the shaky gangway they provided for foot pedestrians . . .

“Ilyeana” by Sharon Millar

When the young soucouyant first realised there was a baby growing in her, she held the thought in her head tightly, boxing it in the same way you might wrap a pastelle: fold one side over and seal before folding the other side . . .