I really, really enjoyed Aryn Kyle’s short story collection, Boys and Girls Like You and Me; in addition, she blogged about her book tour, which provided hours of entertainment.
This story, “Nine,” originally published in The Atlantic, might be my favorite (though, it was hard to pick a fav).
I know that the story of the day here at fwriction hasn’t been as consistent as it used to be—working on fwriction : review takes up much of my time—but I think Aryn Kyle’s story is a strong way to return. Enjoy!
Tess is a child, and like any child she has fears. She is afraid of sirens and lightning and words she doesn’t understand (eclectic, infinity, precocious). She is afraid of falling off the Earth. Some nights after dinner, she crawls through the house on her hands and knees, gripping the carpet with her fingernails. Her father says that she will not fall off the Earth, that falling off the Earth is impossible. Tess repeats the word slowly, tasting the slant and dip of each letter: impossible.