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Short Stories 365/7 | N.S. Beranek

“Dancing Pink Roses” by Danny Bracco, Saints & Sinners 2010: New Fiction from the Festival (Queer Mojo).

This was the second of the contest’s two runners-up.

Ed and Edna have been happily married for decades. For the past ten years Edna has been a school teacher and Ed a house husband, responsible for caring for their property in Sand Coulee, Montana. With the arrival of each school year Edna splurges on one new item for the house. This year she has purchased a set of luxurious, high thread count sheets, and that move awakens long-suppressed urges within Ed.

I liked this story the first time I read it and even more the next two, though the fact that the protagonist’s predicament is left unresolved is unsettling. Mostly I’m unnerved because none of the answers I can come up with to the question, “And then what happened?” are pleasant, and I like these two characters.

This feels like the opening of a novel. If that proved to be the case I would be interested in reading the larger work.