Sunday’s Fictionaut Fiction Nugget: Two Stories You Should Think About

By Melanie Yarbrough

One thing I’ve been thinking about for the past week is Lynn Beighley‘s story over at Fictionaut, “Three Things Not to Think About.” Beighley’s clever without condescending, picking you up right where you are when you start reading the five paragraphs of punch. The authoritative voice and its seemingly objective tone combine to lend the final paragraph its resonance. Laid out as an instruction manual of sorts, the narrator’s directives are unique enough to be creepy. She piques your interest, making you wonder: Who is this narrator? Why am I doing this? Who is she talking to? And Beighley’s answers to these questions are neither what you expect nor as simple as they seem. She captures a universal theme and predicament in an original and idiosyncratic way, a difficult feat for such a short piece.

Upon reading more of Beighley’s stories, I found that she has a powerful gift for the deceptive sentence. She builds an entire story, a house of cards, all the while holding her breath, which she lets out with a very calculated force. Her stories fall to pieces, not in disarray, but in a manicured pile of chaos, organized not to fool others so much as to fool oneself. Check out “Things Inside of Other Things” for more of Beighley’s incredible talent for making Russian nesting dolls of stories.

Can’t get enough of Fictionaut? Neither can we! Check out more of our fiction nuggets, and then check Fictionaut‘s Twitter for other updates around the site.

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One thought on “Sunday’s Fictionaut Fiction Nugget: Two Stories You Should Think About

  1. I usually don’t find myself pulled into such short pieces, but Lynn Beighley knows exactly which words to use to give her pieces a powerful punch. You end them not feeling like more should be added to form a complete piece or with questions about what it meant. I completely agree that they fall to pieces “in a manicured pile of chaos.” Brilliant word choice, just like Beighley.

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