THE LONG STORY: Issue 34 (2016)
THE LONG STORY: Issue 34 (2016)
Pages (PDF): 167
Publisher: The Long Story
Purchase includes: PDF
“How the Flying Fish Got Its Wings” by Jeff Ronci is a parable/fable about slavery and freedom (and much more). Babafemi, his African name which means boy who is loved by his father, is a slave in Haiti where he is called Antoine. After a particularly brutal whipping, he goes to the beach to treat his wounds where he meets a fish that tells him all the sea creature know him to be a kind boy. Later she turns out to be a mermaid, but when he tries to take her with him she gives him a lesson in freedom. § The protagonist in Vincent Panella’s “A Joke But Not a Joke,” is Jason, a man who after his wife died, began living simply, sleeping in his truck, helping out at the local soup kitchen and doing odd jobs. He had learned from his wife that real love was giving and sacrificing and thus he took St. Francis for his model. Then things become complicated when his friends get him a job with a judge and his wife. § “The Reckoning” by Michael Washburn is a cautionary tale about the blood lust raised during a revolution. It’s set in the U.S.A. sometime in the future where the 1% are finally vanquished, but Charlotte, a young idealistic woman begins to have doubts as she witnesses the cruel, savage and sick revenge the revolutionaries mete out. § Nancy Bourne’s “Massive Resistance” is set during the early years of the black struggle for liberation in the South. Roger Nolan, a state senator from Virginia, is running for the U.S. Senate. Although not a racist himself, to win he has to mouth all the usual segregationist stuff. Then the death of his son and what they learn about his life at Harvard causes each member of his family to confront the moral issues raised by the Civil Rights movement. § “The Guest” by Brady Harrison deals with a bizarre incident, namely what the protagonist does after she hits a woman on a stormy winter night: instead of calling the police, she simply drives home into her garage with the woman still trapped in her crushed windshield. Then she calls a male friend and somehow talks him into helping her clean up. The next day she even drives to the store to buy some cigarettes with the woman still in the windshield. A reporter narrates the story. § Gloria Stevenson’s story, “The Pond,” is about love and the jealousy and misunderstandings that can arise in a relationship when the bride discovers a recent photo of a young woman in her house, but it takes the death of a dog to clear up the misunderstandings. § In Drew Thompson’s Cool Hand Bill,” Bill, marrying young and with a child already, is having doubts about life that already seems to be charted out before him. Such doubts are fairly common, of course, but the advice an old man for whom he changed a flat tire on the turnpike gives him about love and how the bad days are nothing compared to the enduring love, opens up a new perspective. § Although Michael Seeley’s“The Grey Shore of Conscience,” is set during the Napoleonic wars where a young midshipman is put on trial for attempted murder of his captain, the story is as new as yesterday in showing the powerful protecting their own without conscience, decency or humanity. § The editorial Prelude discusses some of the major weaknesses of show, don’t tell and discusses how narration can be of critical importance in presenting human reality in its fullness.