Monday, September 24, 2012

Reader's Diary #873- Alexander MacLeod: The Number Three

It took me a a couple or so paragraphs to get into Alexander MacLeod's "The Number Three."

It begins with the line, "The single fried egg might be life's loneliest meal" which in itself could be a fine line. Except as the paragraph goes on it's revealed that there's also a piece of toast involved. "A single fried egg," he concludes, is "enough food for one person, as long as they aren't hungry." Or have a piece of toast to accompany it. Why is this being ignored?

And I couldn't shake the feeling that it was trying too hard. The fried egg is "like a living thing," the phone is "a smug little bird that refuses to sing," he feels "like the marble in one of those tilting wooden labyrinths." That's a lot of figurative language when I haven't even accepted the literal language yet.

But fortunately as the story progressed I was able to immerse myself. Clues to a certain tragedy began to unfold and there's a look behind the scenes at a Dodge plant that produces Grand Caravans (the same van I drive) that I found fascinating. There's a heavy theme of taking life for granted, trusting that things and people will always do what they are supposed to, that will certainly resonate with many readers. It's not upbeat, but it might just give pause for thought.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I hope you didn't discover any disturbing secrets about your van!