Short Story of the Day, Stone Animals by Kelly Link

“This is the list you carry in your pocket, of the things you plan to say to Kay, when you find him, if you find him:

  1. I’m sorry that I forgot to water your ferns while you were away that time.
  2. When you said that I reminded you of your mother, was that a good thing?
  3. I never really liked your friends all that much.
  4. None of my friends ever really liked you.
  5. Do you remember when the cat ran away, and I cried and cried and made you put up posters, and she never came back? I wasn’t crying because she didn’t come back. I was crying because I’d taken her to the woods, and I was scared she’d come back and tell you what I’d done, but I guess a wolf got her, or something. She never liked me anyway.
  6. I never liked your mother.
  7. After you left, I didn’t water your plants on purpose. They’re all dead.
  8. Goodbye.
  9. Were you ever really in love with me?
  10. Was I good in bed, or just average?
  11. What exactly did you mean, when you said that it was fine that I had put on a little weight, that you thought I was even more beautiful, that I should go ahead and eat as much as I wanted, but when I weighed myself on the bathroom scale, I was exactly the same weight as before, I hadn’t gained a single pound?
  12. So all those times, I’m being honest here, every single time, and anyway I don’t care if you don’t believe me, I faked every orgasm you ever thought I had. Women can do that, you know. You never made me come, not even once.
  13. So maybe I’m an idiot, but I used to be in love with you.
  14. I slept with some guy, I didn’t mean to, it just kind of happened. Is that how it was with you? Not that I’m making any apologies, or that I’d accept yours, I just want to know.
  15. My feet hurt, and it’s all your fault.
  16. I mean it this time, goodbye.”
    ― Kelly Link, Stranger Things Happen

Design District Dallas, Texas

From my blog (I called it an “Online Journal” then), The Daily Epiphany, Friday, October 09, 1998

The best food ends in “O”

At lunch today I was off to buy groceries at the Hyperbolic Market (Shopping From Hell!!) before it became overcrowded. As I pulled out of the parking lot my pager went off, belt bee notifying me of incoming voicemail. I was pretty sure it was not business and considered going back to get the call, but I decided that I’d better get my errand run, I’d call back a little later.

We’re having guests this weekend. I bought tomatillos, cilantro, jalepenos (the recipe calls for habaneros, but they were three dollars for a few orange lumps in a little plastic tray and covered with red warning labels saying stuff like “Danger, these are the hottest things in the universe, do NOT EAT, wear thick rubber gloves when handling, wash hands thoroughly before taking a leak, For God’s Sake!”, so I chickened out and bought jalepenos instead) and mangos.

Fresh food, tropical food, food ending in “O.”

I’ve been trying to spend some time in the middle of the day, every work day, with my office door closed. I’ll sit there and daydream, listen to a little Mozart, maybe talk on the phone, anything to take my mind away for awhile.

The Others are starting to put this down. One guy knocked, asking me paperwork questions when I opened my door. Immediately others lined up behind him, needing favors or answers or only to unload. It was actually kind of funny, my thoughts were elsewhere and I was no good at all to anybody.

And now, a piece of flash fiction for today:

I have been a fan of Kelly Link for years – ever since her amazing and very odd book of stories – modern day adult fairy tales – Stranger Things Happen was listed as a Times magazine best book of the year. I was happy to find this story from her follow-up collection Magic for Beginners.

Stone Animals by Kelly Link

from Electric Lit

Kelly Link Homepage

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