Stand in the sun on a sea-going research vessel and listen to the sound of the gulls and the churning motor of your boat's propellers. Crack a beer. Take something heavy -- a boot, an empty tin can, a cell phone -- and chuck it off the side when the Captain's back is turned. Watch the bit of junk bubble, fall, and plummet out of sight and go down with it in your mind -- down, down past the schools of fish and the sun-dappled porpi. Go down to the very bottom of the ocean floor -- past the sharks, and rays, and tuna -- into the silent pressures of the depths, into the pitch black maw of hell's echo: the ocean. Be silent. Be ready. Relax. Know peace.
Look up. Try to imagine the surface above you, miles away, impossible to reach. Know terror and constriction and struggle.
Today's tale, "The Second Door," by Claire O'Connor, showcases one of my favorite story techniques: this tale imagines a fascinating, improbable setting, and then tells the story of the only people who could possibly be there. I read this story, and when it started to describe the options of what the main characters could eat for dinner, I said YES YES YES THOSE ARE EXACTLY THE OPTIONS THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO EAT. THIS STORY DOES RIGHT BY ITSELF AND BY ME!
Truth in fiction is not penetrating emotions or perfect sentences: it is well-placed Chicken Cacciatore.
Posted by miracle on Tue, 24 Mar 2009 02:24:59 -0400 -- permanent link