300 short stories:: story 110

story: Her First Elk 

author: Rick Bass

year: 2003

where: work, Saadiyat, between meetings

note: I did not expect to like this story as much as I did.

a line: “And once they had the elk overturned, Ralph emasculated it with his skinning knife, cutting off the ponderous genitals and tossing them farther into the field with no self-consciousness; it was merely the work that needed doing.”

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300 short stories:: story 109

story: A Bowl of the Real Thing

author: Eugenia Chao

year: 2006

where: home, pacing in the living room

note: This story comes from the Painted Bride Quarterly vault (published the year I entered college–long before I was on the PBQ Editorial Board).

a line: “The house we approached, which belonged to Wan Jen’s father, looked like it had been split in half and the other half had run away.”

300 short stories:: story 108

story: In Ruth’s Country

author: Rick Bass

year: 1994

where: highline, walking and reading

note: In The Theory of Light and Matter (2008), a short story collection I found in South Korea, Andrew Porter has a story called Departure about a young guy who wants to date an Amish girl. I think reading this story along with Bass’ is quite interesting. Alas, Bass is a king of allegory.

a line: “I thought because she liked the gin-and-tonics, and the river wading, and chasing cows, Ruth would change. Convert.’”

300 short stories:: story 106

story: St. Clair Flats

author: Constance Fenimore Woolson

year: 1873

where: Dubai and Abu Dhabi

note: For half the story I thought the main characters were a woman and a man, and I considered this extraordinary for its time (late 19th century) since the characters seemed to be unmarried and not the least perturbed to ‘Lewis and Clark’ around the American Great Lakes, but alas, I learned the characters were two male companions!

a line: “How boundless is looks! One hill in the distance, one dark line of forest, even one tree, would break its charm. I have seen the ocean, I have seen the prairies, I have seen the great desert, but this is like a mixture of the three. It is an ocean full of land, –a prairie full of water, –a desert full of verdure.’”