A year ago, for the month of June, I wrote about an online short story each day for the month. It seemed like a good idea at the time. My blog readership fell precipitously and nobody seemed to give a damn about what I was doing – which was a surprising amount of work.
Because of this result, I’m going to do it again this year.
Today’s story, for day Fourteen – Go-Between, by Peter Rock
Read it online here:
So many of the stories I have collected in this month of short story writing are by familiar authors that I have read before. Either classic masters of the form, well-known maniacs trying to stretch what’s been before, or modern acclaimed virtuosos at throwing letters on the page.
That will not do.
I wanted something novel, an author I didn’t know – I need a new drug. So I turned to Google and some literary magazines that are willing to stick an occasional piece on the web for free (I’ll pay for it, but will you?) and struck a vein. Luckily it turned out to be gold and not hemoglobin.
The author is Peter Rock and the story is Go-Between.
I wanted mystery – something that left important (the most important) details to my imagination, I wanted clean prose (a little description is fine, but no rococo showing off), and I wanted some oddly off-kilter excitement.
Go-Between fit the bill perfectly.
It’s a sad commentary on my belated position on the mediocre arc of my nondescript life that I felt more of a kinship with the clumsy besuited disheveled stalker than with the attractive young characters trying to figure out where their skinny-dipping habits are about to take them. It is what it is.
So now I have someone new to read… a freshly-dug rabbit hole to tumble down. I don’t know if everything else he wrote is so attuned to what I’m looking for – but I’ll do the work to find out.
“How’s your grandma’s house?” he said. “Is it creepy, at all, living there?”
“I don’t know. It’s nice having all her old things, I guess, but I keep expecting her to be in the kitchen or come down the hallway. I never had to feed myself, there.”
Two long yellow kayaks slipped past. A lady in a bright red hat, a man with a gray beard. Naomi waved, and the man lifted his oar.
“Have you seen Sonja lately?” Alex said.
“We had breakfast this morning. Is that what you wanted to talk about?”
Off to the right was a tangle of bushes and trees, some of them tipping over into the water. Hidden on the other side of those trees, down the river, was an amusement park. Screams rose up every minute or so, every time the people on the rollercoaster made the big drop, headed into the loop.