THE LONG STORY: Issue 29 (2011)
THE LONG STORY: Issue 29 (2011)
Pages (PDF): 162
Publisher: The Long Story
Purchase includes: PDF
Myla Stauber’s “Country of Unknown Origin” traces the lives of two Vietnamese men, a physically crippled cigarette seller and a psychically damaged watch repairman still unable to transcend the memory of his young wife’s fate at the hands of the Americans back in the war. And, yes, a laughing thrush and a dog play a role in the story’s denouement.
Michael Caleb Tasker’s “In the Sweet By and By” takes place in racist 1950s Louisiana where violence is as omnipresent as the air if one happens to be black like the protagonist Avery; that’s why he’s running, running from the angry white men.
River Adams’ “The Long Midnight” relates the story of two survivors who were tortured and abused horribly by Chechen rebels. Nathan’s thesis about the circle of evil (“Pain breeds terror, terror breeds rage, rage breeds revenge. Revenge breeds pain.”) is as philosophically compelling as the protagonists’ suffering while captured in Chechnya.
In “The Betrayal” by Richard Krause Jack Kunkel returns to New York City to visit Ollie, the warm and loving woman who took care of him as a boy after he was placed in an orphanage, only to find her living in a squalid cockroach-infested apartment, exploited by her niece, and suffering from Alzheimer’s: “nobody has established how long a person should live after the dignity goes.”
James Carpenter’s “Reclassified” takes us back to the 1960s when avoiding the draft and stopping the war were the principal concerns of most college students. Despite the seriousness of these issues, the story has marvelous comic touches when the protagonist, after an antiwar demonstration in Washington where he burns his draft card, ends up an induction center.
Barbara Snow’s “Capri” is a story about human solidarity and connectivity. Jen accompanies Kit, her friend recovering from eight months of chemotherapy, to Capri where they befriend Amina, the Nigerian cleaning woman and maid at the place they’re renting, and learn of her courageous and self-sacrificing past that not incidentally plays a role in Kit’s recovery.
In S. L. Ferraro’s “Blood Pressure” Ana is bitten by a dog in New York City just before she has a flight to San Francisco to be with her husband. The rabies shots have to wait until the hospital in Palo Alto where years ago she almost died after a terrible accident. Present and past experiences of vulnerability, objectification and loss of dignity at the hands of those in positiowns of power plague her throughout the day.
In “The Abortionist’s Daughter” by Julie Innis, Marly, a veterinarian, returns home to take care of her aged mother suffering from Alzheimer’s. When younger, her mother was a herbal abortionist and cat lover, so well known that Tom, a young man from the university, is making a film about her; Marly’s relationship with Tom brings to light the time she tried the herbal teas and the consequences.
“After the Accident” by Karyn Wergland: Three years after her son suffocated in a cedar chest used to store toys, Andrea, her marriage destroyed by this accident, finds herself working at a daycare in Boston where the responsibility of caring for children force her to seek the strength and courage to transcend her self-doubts and self-blame.
Poems by Jared Carter and John Wheatcroft and an editorial Prelude that uses Burns’s “To a Mouse” as a launching pad for a discussion on the centrality of empathy in life round out the issue.