WELCOME TO DECEMBER PROJECT!
this explanation/intro will be posted before each day’s short story. scroll down to get to the story-review.
this is the FOURTH year of me doing a short story advent calendar as my december project. for those of you new to me or this endeavor, here’s the skinny: every day in december, i will be reading a short story that is 1) available free somewhere on internet, and 2) listed on goodreads as its own discrete entity. there will be links provided for those of you who like to read (or listen to) short stories for free, and also for those of you who have wildly overestimated how many books you can read in a year and are freaking out about not meeting your 2019 reading-challenge goals. i have been gathering links all year when tasty little tales have popped into my feed, but i will also accept additional suggestions, as long as they meet my aforementioned 1), 2) standards.
if you scroll to the end of the reviews linked here, you will find links to all the previous years’ stories, which means NINETY-THREE FREEBIES FOR YOU!
reviews of these will vary in length/quality depending on my available time/brain power.
so, let’s begin
In a wooden house on a modest farmstead by a dense wood near a roving river to the west of town, miles from the wide road and far away from the peculiar madness that is men at war, lived the Missus, the Missus’s grown daughters Adelaide and Catherine, the Missus’s sister Bitsy, the Missus’s poorly mother Anna, and the Missus’s fifteen-year-old slave girl Sully, who had a heart made of teeth—for as soon as she heard word that Albert, the Missus’s husband, had been slain in battle, she took up arms against the family who’d raised her, slipping a tincture of valerian root and skullcap into their cups of warmed milk before slitting their throats in the night.
the first part of this story is huge and wonderful and i loved it like crazy. it began with a dark and retributive violence that reminded me of The Book of Night Women or The Devil in America, and overall i loved the writing, but i lost some of my enthusiasm around the halfway mark, when it became more reconstruction than vengeance and the bloody bits were glossed and offstage. i guess that makes me a bad person, but oh well.
anyway, that’s all i have for this one, because i am bitter at goodreads removing one of my reviews for this challenge by deleting the book altogether and i don’t feel like risking another deletion so i guess no more short story advent calendar for me next year. this is not the first time it has happened, but it’s the first time it has happened on the calendar-in-progress, which means my reading challenge has been affected and i’m already so far behind it’s just one more thing to mope about.
read it for yourself here: