Flavorwire has just announced their 2014 Short Fiction Contest, and I'm planning on entering. In preparation, I read the 2013 winner, and dang, it's awesome.
"The Art and Science of Growing Back Your Arm", by Kim Winternheimer, is a powerful, haunting short story that puts a speculative twist on what you think might be reality. The premise is just strange enough to make you look twice at it, but not overbearing. The writing style is deceptively simple yet meaningful - sort of like the best contemporary novels. And the ending - I won't give anything away, but it hit me like a punch to the gut.
Here's an excerpt, because I might as well let the prose speak for itself:
I think about the world pockmarked with kids who have growth problems I won’t ever see. I think about the boy in our building at home, who cries and wails even though he’s easily two years older than me, and the girl on the news who cut up a bunch of animals in our neighborhood. Is that something they could grow into fixing? Or is it worse than that? I wonder if we all have a little bit of growing to do on the inside and why there aren’t any adults at camp doing any growing. I wonder what Mr. Bobby would say my mother needs to grow back, or if she’s fully whole, and why, to me, that seems so much more difficult to understand."The Art and Science of Growing Back Your Arm" is available to read here.
You're welcome for the link (if you haven't clicked it yet go go go), and happy not-really-Friday!