The Ashes of Around Twenty-Three StrangersThe Ashes of Around Twenty-Three Strangers by Jeremy Packert Burke
My rating: 3/5 cats
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They pass old billboard PSAs reminding people that interior rain can come at any moment, advising them to get their houses in order. Clouds might form above their beds in the middle of the night; they might wake gasping, half-drowning. Lucy can attest that no one ever believes the rains will hit their home. How could you believe such a thing? How would you live your life?

But this is the way the world is: all the storms have moved inside. A cloud hasn’t touched the sky for over two years.

i have no strong feelings about this story one way or t’other. to be honest, i don’t think i fully grasped the whatness of it. it seems maybe a bit ambitious for its length, and i have so many questions about the world itself that its message was lost on me as i made my way through the muddle of nature and religion and guilt and accountability. this is perhaps what i get for trying to read a short story in the bleary early-morning prework hours i have at my disposal these days, but, like this story itself, we’re all doing the best we can with what we have, and sometimes the best we can do is scoop up the ashes of around twenty-three strangers and hope the gods will accept the intent behind our offering.

today, these are my ashes.

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