Short Story by Hollis Seamon Published in The Bellevue Literary Review.
Why: This beautifully written fictional story will take you through a gamut of emotions. I struggled to single out a couple of passages as the story as a whole is wonderful. It brought me to tears. I’ll be filing it as a sort of how to guide to short stories. I encourage you to read the whole story at the following link, it won’t take much time as it’s short:
The boy’s face flushed an unhealthy plum and tears began to roll down his cheeks. He kept his eyes focused on his boots – they were leaking slushy, salty water onto Althea’s blue rug. Ever so slowly, he nodded.
Althea flung herself back in her chair. Jesus. The poor slob. The poor stupid kid. She closed her eyes. Her heartbeat was thudding in her ears again – boom, boomedy, boom, boom, boom. Her head made it into a little song….She put a hand to her chest and coughed. Coughing, she’d read somewhere, was supposed to stop it, this runaway pounding of a deluded heart. It didn’t. She coughed again. The EKG electrodes, glued to her chest, jiggled. She opened her eyes.
The boy hadn’t moved, hadn’t wiped his tears. They were running into the woolen scarf bunched around his neck.
Blood thudded in her neck and throat; her palm throbbed. It occurred to her that she might have to smack him. She just might have to whap him upside his dim, tear-stained, smiling, biscuit-colored cheek. Christ. She folded her hands tightly together on her desk.