Even when I’m busy, but I need that bit of a pick-me-up, Staccato Fiction is always there for me. If I sound like an addict, it’s because I am. Today I read “Those Plums,” but there’s no author name credited! I’ll try and figure this out, and update you on who’s responsible for this little gem. (Update 5/20: I just went to the Staccato Fiction site and saw that the story is credited now! Thanks, Harley Crowley for a lovely story.)
Reminiscent of Julio Cortazar a la “Blow Up and Other Stories,” and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the world in “Those Plums” quickly shifts from recognizable to slightly distorted. It’s like those seemingly identical pictures side-by-side where one of them is slightly different. The story’s world after the second paragraph is slightly different. Slowly we begin to realize something is not right, along with the narrator. The other character in the story – inexplicably gaunt – is explaining his predicament, and his voice (I could hear it) is weak with his inexplicable exhaustion. All we know is that it began happening after he ate “all those plums.” The narrator continues to relate to this new world as though it were the old, recognizable one, and is met with further unmistakable clues that, no, this is no place that she knows.
Whomever this author is, s/he did an incredible job of building up a reality that gets knocked down so quickly. Four paragraphs! That’s all s/he needed to knock my socks off.