I am behind on my RAF reading (I am behind on life in general ), and so this will be a write up of four stories. And though I’m aware of that human bias to find connections where there may be none, I think all of the stories have a certain longing in them.
In Issue 3, Ashley Hay describes a young girl’s adventure to find water sprites. It is one of those pieces where the reader possibly understands a little more than the narrator herself. Beautifully drawn, and quite sad: I was worried for the girl’s safety at times. Its companion piece is Sean Rabin’s Old Gods. A slightly mad, or perhaps maddened, man fills his apartment with books and attempts to deal with his noisy neighbours. It is a paean to both reading and books. Those who cherish a peaceful spot to read will enjoy the protagonist’s unintended revenge.
Two Peter Carey short story winners feature in Issue 4. Catherine Padmore’s To Whom it May Concern describes a woman’s reaction to an unexpected email. Her history and her memories are beautifully evoked. But the story that has stayed with me the longest is Cameron Weston’s. It is, I am glad to say, a story in which nothing much happens except that a writer falls a little in love with a pigeon. Writing can be a type of yearning, and I think Weston captures that here.
And no matter that I find myself without the time for yearning, or longing, or getting much done at all from the list of things I really want to do. There has been time for a little reading. And that is a blessing in itself.