There are billions of short stories out there, and probably millions of good ones. Thousands of really good ones. I’ve read so many–both published and in the slush pile for Willow Springs–but when I think about short stories, there’s one that always comes to mind. It’s not a classic like “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” or “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” (which are both great). It’s not particularly famous, nor is its author. In fact, if I hadn’t worked at Willow Springs, I might never have known it existed. It’s called “The Land of Pain” and it was published in Willow Springs 56.
It used to be available on their website, but I guess it’s been taken down. If you can get your hands on a copy, read it. In the mean time, read another of my favorites by Stacey Richter, “The Cavemen in the Hedges.”
And Stacey, if you’re out there, I hope you’re writing. Because I want to read it.