Bull & Cross is now well into its third year of stories and this month, we have three gems. In each, the characters stand out against the backdrop of excellent prose. They may be sympathetic, frustrating, endearing, or foolish, but they’re real, grounded, and engaging.
First up, Ann Mohin gives us “Frogs and Fireflies.” This is comedy in the same way all good, old marriages are. It’s a humorous story with a happy ending. But I’m also leaning here a little bit on Aristotle’s Poetics, where seriousness and nobility take a back seat to sympathetic weakness. (That’s also probably true of good, old marriages.)
Next, things take a turn towards the tragic with Michael Dean Clark’s “The Best Thing.” In this story, sympathetic weakness becomes all the more sympathetic as the nobility and virtue of the protagonist comes to the fore. As with the previous story, this one is all the better for the author’s clear regard for humanity, regardless of its brokenness.
And finally, we have “The Juggler,” from Robert Boucheron. I’ve read some of the author’s other work before, and am very pleased to be able to include one of his stories in this issue. We don’t yet know if this is a comedy or a tragedy, but this is one of those wonderful stories where the tension is managed well enough to leave us satisfied with the question unanswered.
Really, you can’t go wrong with these stories. Every piece is just right, and I’m very pleased to be able to share them with you.
So, crack open a soda or grab a coffee (I’m really not sure which would be better with this issue), find yourself a quiet corner, and enjoy this 26th issue of B&C.
Daniel R. Julian