"Tied to Us" from American Short Fiction

Sep. 7, 2009
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I didn't know much about ASF (American Short Fiction, duh) until a classmate got one of her short stories published on the mag's Web site (you can read it here). It turned out this was the same short story I'd given her some critique on, so naturally I took most of the credit in its getting published. My classmate disagreed, rightly so, since she was the one who wrote it.

But I've been keeping an eye on the site, which only features one short story per month (but the magazine is great, by the way. Worth checking out), and so I thought I'd share the newest one because 1) it's good and 2) it has a really poetic structure that sucked me in faster than I expected. It's called "Tied to Us," by John Maradik.

Here's a short excerpt:

I woke up and turned over to share something with her, but she was not in bed. She hid in our linen closet and cried like an old woman.

She told me we owed in the neighborhood of $149,000. Tired and dreamy, her words and our coats. Her sweaters with no low necklines.

"Do you want to go for a walk?" I asked.

"Maybe in the morning," she said.

The moon hung from a peg.

Click here to read the full story.

If you're interested in submitting a story to ASF, you need to do it via their submission manager, and it's a good idea to check out a copy of their zine before you do because you'd be surprised at just how different some of their published fiction can be. You can click here to read their guidelines.


Ken Brosky


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