Fiction: S-U

Fiction of the Day

Nothing to Declare

By Richard Ford

All the senior partners were having a laugh about a movie they’d seen. Forty-Five Years. Something, something about the movie taking forty-five years to sit through. The woman McGuinness thought he recognized was in it with them at the far end of the long table. Leaning in, as if hearing everything for the second time. “Miss Nail!” they were calling her. “What do you say, Miss Nail? Tell us.” Laughing. He didn’t know what it was about.

Les Saltimbanques

By Marvin Schiller

From a Boardwalk bar-and-grill dance music sweetened the seaweed-stained air. Lev imagined the bar’s cool haven—the beer smell and the happily subterranean, unfunny interior he had begun to frequent with his son, Milton, who was now gone from home for the first time. Lev had been stunned by the boy’s enlistment in the service, and still, after eight months, was unable to figure out why the boy had not at least, at the very least after all the years of comradeship, consulted him.

Family Matters

By Jonathan Schwartz

His grandmother was asking for him as she lay dying, they had written, and even though his mother’s side of the family were strangers, he drove out to see the old woman in Plain- field, New Jersey, on a Saturday afternoon in August that fell in the middle of an oppressive heat wave. He, Goodman, took a girl, Libby, having always decorated himself with womanly trinkets on occasions that required solemnity; he felt more comfortable in the company of a woman and realized that the importance he gave to her aesthetic acceptability reflected his own disquietude at any prospect of going it alone. The prettier the womanly trinket, he understood, the stronger he thought he appeared.