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Fiction: M-O

Fiction of the Day

We All Fall Down

By McKenzie

They sayed she had gotted a white mans education. She had climbed the jet and flied across the ocean to read abroad. They sayed she had a big house in the big town of Meru. A big house and big car like a Prado that all the rich people driving in town. They sayed she had one children. A boy children that go to big school for rich people. They sayed she had a law degree but all she did was obey the orders of the wardens and pray. She prayed a lot. Some of the times she used to cry small small when she was praying. Some of the times she would kneel down but not that many times. The wardens would beat us when we showed funny behavior. Mange never showed funny behavior. Mange toed the line.

A Story for Your Daughters, a Story for Your Sons

By Rebecca Makkai

The war had closed much of the city, cut off many of the smaller towns. Unable to trace his usual routes, the hat merchant headed into the mountains to try his luck. His father, before he died, had circled a small mountain village on his map, had noted that the trading was good but the trip took two difficult days. Indeed, the snaking road narrowed fast, and the bridge was down to splinters so his horse had to wade to the knees.

Near sunset of the first day, long after the road had turned to an overgrown path, the merchant passed a plain young woman milking a cow. She asked him into her farmhouse for bread and brandy but never turned her back on him. She didn’t turn her back to cut the bread, to call for her mother, to find a glass. He imagined she’d met her share of passing soldiers who wanted more than drink.

 

Brothers and Sisters

By Chetna Maroo

Passing through the hallway on their way out, her sisters tipped their heads in the direction of the statue of the goddess Durga. They did it automatically, almost imperceptibly, and with wide, innocent eyes, like spies letting their handler know they had seen him and he should hold his position. Oma did the same, but with less conviction. It was one of many casual gestures of defiance on the part of the sisters. Their parents, aunts, and grandparents had offered unsatisfactory and conflicting answers to the question of why, since they did not believe in gods, their houses were filled with Hindu icons. Oma disliked it when her sisters interrogated their parents and shot glances at one another waiting for the elders to flounder, but she reluctantly played her part in the rituals her sisters established to confound them. She tipped her head to the goddess and moved along. The goddess both frightened and fascinated her, with her eight weaponized arms and peaceful expression.