Posts tagged ‘short story’

January 11, 2011

From our ‘zine: Fiction by Dorene O’Brien

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Suspension Bridge
by Dorene O’Brien

I told him that I was a professor of 16th century Italian art. What else could I do? I’m a 33-year-old court clerk whose mother still demands kisses over the telephone. I have a blind cat and a Twix bar addiction, and I’m clearly not fast on my feet.

We met in front of the knockoff portrait of Madame Cézanne at the Baldwin Public Library when he steamrolled my large and copiously corned left foot while making a beeline for the men’s room.

“I beg your pardon,” he said, engaging in a little bladder-tension hop.

“S’all right,” I said, even though the pain was far worse than when the drugs wore off during my root canal.

When he exited the restroom I was sitting on a bench with my eyes closed, envisioning thousands of miniature carpenters mending my ailing foot, filing down the calluses, planing the skin to an even finish.

“I’m so sorry,” he said. “Can I get you some water?”

“For my foot?”

“No—”

“Forget it,” I waved him off. “I’m all right.”

“Well, I’m Tony.” He sat beside me, his expression pained and guilty.

“I’m Aboline.”

“That’s pretty,” he said. “Are you named after a relative or did your mother love Texas?”

“Actually,” I said, “my mother loved scotch and misspelled Abigail on my birth certificate.”

Tony’s laugh was hard and real, and I understood then that he was the only person in town who didn’t know the story.

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November 15, 2010

From the ‘zine: Fiction by Kris McGonegal

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But Here
by Kris McGonegal

Do you remember that game we used to play? “Anywhere But Here” I think we called it. How we used to play it after the days so crappy we didn’t even have the energy to commiserate with each other? We’d each pick the one place in the world we’d love to be. If you don’t remember, its okay, it’s been years. I didn’t remember it until last week.

I remember how you’d always pick the strangest places, like Greenland. Who in their right mind would want to go to Greenland? Or Belize? I swear sometimes you’d make up places just to see if I’d notice. I don’t think I ever did. For my part, I always had one place: the hill by my grandmother’s old farm house. Continue reading “But Here.”

October 26, 2010

Fiction from the ‘zine: Cameron L. Mitchell’s “Vacuuming Again”

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Vacuuming Again
by Cameron L. Mitchell

Pretending your husband isn’t outside the trailer smoking a joint is easy enough when there’s so much to clean. Men are ridiculous, Bonnie thinks with a smirk on her face. They think you don’t know what they’re up to. If Bonnie had a nickel for every time Danny thought he was pulling a fast one over her, well, maybe she wouldn’t be confined to life in a trailer.

The electric hum of the vacuum cleaner calms her nerves. She likes keeping a clean and, dare she think, happy home for her family. This is the fourth time she’s unleashed the small mechanical wonder today against the powers that be, the unrelenting gathering of dust that tickles her nose, making her sneeze and sneeze, as well as all the other scraps and debris that stain an otherwise happy home. With Danny Jr. running around all over the place with folded pieces of sliced cheese in his hands, it’s no wonder Bonnie often notices bits and pieces of old, hardened food stuck in the carpet.

That’s kids for ya. They make a mess. And mothers clean up after their babies. Bonnie only wishes her husband wasn’t such a baby needing looked after as well. She has her hands full with Danny Jr. and little Michaela. Right now, while Danny smokes his joint, he’s supposed to be out there watching their son, making sure he’s not getting into any trouble. But what kind of mother does that make her, that she trusts her dimwitted man to see past the plume of marijuana smoke to keep an eye on anything?

Continue reading “Vacuuming Again” by Cameron L. Mitchell

October 25, 2010

CanLit Award Predictions

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BY JOHN COLEMAN

CanLit awards season is heading into its last few weeks (our big three prizes will all be handed out by mid-November). Thus, it’s time for predictions, and, if you are a real lit-junkie, some serious bets. First, a few quiet observations.

What everyone is perhaps not so quietly talking about is Kathleen Winter’s triple nominations for the Giller Prize, Governor General’s Award and Writers’ Trust prize for her novel Annabel. It is Winter’s debut novel after her 2008 Winterset Award winning short story collection boYs.

Feeling two-thirds the heat as Kathleen Winter is Emma Donoghue, up for the Writers’ Trust and GG for her novel Room. The novel was also short-listed for the Man Booker earlier this fall.

There are lesser hopefuls that may surprise Canada with a big win after all. David Bergen’s new novel The Matter With Morris has had its share of recognition this season. It is up for the Giller and may just take the cake out of Winter’s mouth.

That said, it would be doggishly ironic if Sarah Selecky’s This Cake Is For The Party won the Giller. This is her debut work and has created considerable buzz in critic’s circles. Perhaps if the GG and Writer’s Trust accepted story collections, it would also approach taking those awards.

On to my predictions: be warned, the following is purely unfounded speculation.

On November 2, Michael Winter’s The Death Of Donna Whalen will win the Writers’ Trust award for fiction. In non-fiction, Sarah Leavitt will win for her graphic memoir Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother and Me.

A week later on November 9, Emma Donoghue will win the Giller Prize for Room.

And in mid-November the Governor General’s Award for fiction will be presented to Kathleen Winter for Annabel. In non-fiction, Allan Casey will win for Lakeland: Journeys into the Soul of Canada.