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 SEVENTH 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 annual 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.
GR has deleted the pages for several of the stories i’ve read in previous years without warning, leaving me with a bunch of missing reviews and broken links, which makes me feel shitty. i have tried to restore the ones i could, but my to-do list is already a ball of nightmares, so that’s still a work-in-progress. however, because i don’t have a lot of time to waste, and because my brain has felt scraped clean ever since my bout with covid, i’m not going to bother writing much in the way of reviews for these, in case GR decides to scrap ’em again.
i am doing my best.
merry christmas eve-afternoon, unintentionally the perfect time to (finally) read this christmas classic, whose third paragraph occurs on a just-like-today, and involves unspeakable crimes against cats. or the intent thereof:
It was on the afternoon of the Christmas Eve, and I was in Mrs. Prothero’s garden, waiting for cats, with her son Jim. It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland, though there were no reindeers. But there were cats. Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their eyes. The wise cats never appeared.
cats are too smart to get snowballed. unlike the heroine of Snowballin’: I Fucked Frosty, a veryfine book i wrote once upon a time.
DECEMBER 1: PORGEE’S BOAR – JONATHAN CARROLL
DECEMBER 2: SKELETON SONG – SEANAN MCGUIRE
DECEMBER 3: JUDGE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING MANUSCRIPT – LAVIE TIDHAR
DECEMBER 4: QUANDARY AMINU VS THE BUTTERFLY MAN – RICH LARSON
DECEMBER 5: IN MERCY, RAIN – SEANAN MCGUIRE
DECEMBER 6: CHOKE – SUYI DAVIES OKUNGBOWA
DECEMBER 7: THIS PLACE IS BEST SHUNNED – DAVID ERIK NELSON
DECEMBER 8: RED PYRAMID – VLADIMIR SOROKIN
DECEMBER 9: HOSPICE/HONEYMOON – JOYCE CAROL OATES
DECEMBER 10: MY FIRST CAR – JOY WILLIAMS
DECEMBER 11: HOW MANY – BRYAN WASHINGTON
DECEMBER 12: KENNY BOND SHOT MY DOG – CHRISSY KOLAYA
DECEMBER 13: I KNOW YOU’RE THERE – PAUL TREMBLAY
DECEMBER 14: THE THERESA JOB – COLSON WHITEHEAD
DECEMBER 15: CATTLE HAUL -JESMYN WARD
DECEMBER 16: I LIKE YOUR SHOES – KEVIN BROCKMEIER
DECEMBER 17: SOME OTHER ANIMAL’S MEAT – EMILY CARROLL
DECEMBER 18: THE MOM OF BOLD ACTION – GEORGE SAUNDERS
DECEMBER 19: THE WEIGHT – ANNE ENRIGHT
DECEMBER 20: THE FIFTH STEP – STEPHEN KING
DECEMBER 21: OUR LIFE AS THE VOLCANO CULT – KAWAI STRONG WASHBURN
DECEMBER 22: WRONG OBJECT – MONA SIMPSON
DECEMBER 23: 68:HAZARD:COLD – JANELLE SHANE
FROM THE BEFORETIMES: