300 short stories: story 261

story: “The Girl Who Did Not Know Fear”

author: Kelly Link

year: 2019

where: California Zephyr Train

note: From the last issue of Tin House

a line: “They don’t have sex shops in Quebec? After that, Martine went through this whole phrase.”

theme(s): Mothers and Daughters, Queer relationships, travel, fear

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300 short stories:: story 220

story: “Catskin”

author: Kelly Link

year: 2005

where: Blacksmith Coffee

note: In a review for this short story by Matt Hilliard, he writes, “The cat who in a fairy tale would have turned into a princess for him to marry was lost, though of course Small is too young to be disappointed, he wants a mother, not a wife. The fact that his mother is still with him, sort of, just makes this worse.” I could not have said this better myself.

a line: “Cats went in and out of the witch’s house all day long.’”

theme(s): Parental loss, Grief, Identity, Transformations limitations

300 short stories:: story 218

story: “The Faery Handbag”

author: Kelly Link

year: 2005

where: afterwork at work

note: There is a free copy of this story online via Small Beer Press!

a line: “If you called the faery handbag by its right name, it would be something like “orzipanikanikcz,” which means the “bag of skin where the world lives,” only Zofia never spelled that word the same way twice. She said you had to spell it a little differently each time. You never wanted to spell it exactly the right way, because that would be dangerous.’”

extra line: “The thing about Zofia and libraries is that she’s always losing library books. She says that she hasn’t lost them, and in fact that they aren’t even overdue, really. It’s just that even one week inside the faery handbag is a lot longer in library-world time.”

theme(s): Death, Magic