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Short Story Month, Day 2: Kathy Fish


Kathy Fish

"Collective Nouns for Humans in the Wild" by Kathy Fish


This microfiction piece is perhaps the best short story I read last year. I don't want to say too much since it's so short, but I will say this: There are a lot of tricks and tropes in flash, including the turn at the end of the story that, when done well, should punch readers in the gut (and I do love a good gut-punching in fiction). But with Fish, the tricks aren't mere gimmicks. She builds tension subtly, and her intentions seem whimsical, but when the turn hits, it knocks the wind out because you realize that this isn't really fiction. It's real. It's tragic.

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