A couple of core truths: (1) The world is broken. I don’t think that’ll come as a shock to most of you. But what repeatedly comes as a shock to me is (2) how many things there are to be thankful for in this broken world.
I’m pleased to introduce three excellent stories for this issue, each of which underline these two truths.
First up, we have Theo Salcedo’s “Yield.” If your experience with this story matches mine, you’ll find yourself hypnotized by the language until it’s too late, until the story cuts into you with the same sudden violence that marks too much of life. And after reading it, what you’ll recall won’t be just the tragedy, but the beauty and bounty that remains.
Of all the evidences for a broken world, mental illness is one of the clearest. And of all the things for which there are to be thankful, we should be particularly grateful for family that sticks around when one of us is hurting. So, I was happy to receive Anastasia Jill’s “At the Zoo,” which does an excellent job of portraying a young woman and her father trying to navigate a difficult diagnosis.
And finally, “Pens,” by Benjamin Selesnick. I’m very happy to have one of Ben’s stories for this issue. He has a knack for drawing marginal characters and for doing so with grace and wisdom. The story in this issue–about a young boy confounded by the world and the teacher confounded by that young boy–is a great example of his skills as a storyteller. You won’t want to miss it.
So, as you gather with those for whom you are thankful this week, grab a chair and a piece of pumpkin pie and enjoy these fine stories.
Daniel R. Julian