300 short stories: story 250

story: “Kiss Me Someone”

author: Karen Shepard

year: 2017

where: Dubai

note: The title story.

a line: “Of all her exes, and the number is legion, this one was the most extreme in all regards.”

theme(s): Fidelity, compassion, aimlessness, marriage

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300 short stories: story 249

story: “Girls Only”

author: Karen Shepard

year: 2017

where: Dubai

note: I’m usually not into bridal stories, but this is the non-bridal bridal story.

a line: “And Cleo, surprising herself, said because that’s what girls do. They do stupid and hurtful things until they figure out not to. And his expression was filled with the kindness of a parent. It was the closest thing to forgiveness any of them would receive.”

theme(s): Friendship, girlhood, womanhood, assault, rape, wedding day

300 short stories: story 248

story: “Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know When”

author: Karen Shepard

year: 2017

where: Car from Dubai

note: 9/11 story

a line: “She simultaneously believes herself to be in no way enviable and the most interesting person in the room.”

theme(s): Adultery, grief, tragedy

300 short stories:: story 221

story: “Foil”

author: Anne de Marcken

year: 2018

where: “Due-bay”

note: This is the 2018 winning short story of Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest.

a line: “The man sitting next to me glances at my ring and says nothing for twenty-two hours. The ring fools me too, and I enjoy a feeling of privileged contentment. One who belongs to another is more than one.’”

theme(s): Mothers and daughters, Travel, Identity

300 short stories:: story 208

story: “The Salt Garden”

author: Margaret Atwood

year: 1983

where: Dubai, Common Ground

note: I adore this collection and find the protagonist Alma to be so layered.

a line: “She can’t remember ever having astonished any of her friends with tricks from the instruction book. Astonishing herself was enough.”

theme(s): time