“Three Things I Pray” by Trebor Healey from Foolish Hearts: New Gay Fiction (Cleis Press, 2014)

You may have gotten the impression from previous posts that I dislike stories that aren’t realistic. While it’s true I’m not a fan of fiction that seems to have no rules at all, it’s equally correct to say I love stories in which select elements are defined as being bent.

Which makes this story a win-win.

I appreciated that from the get-go the reader knows what to expect, though I had an inkling what kind of story it would be because of who wrote it. I haven’t yet read the author’s novel, Faun, but I’ve read great things about it. I have read—and loved—several books categorized as “magical realism”, the genre into which I would place this story. Among my favorites are Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa; Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho; and American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

I love the imagery employed here: a fallen angel, Greek gods, the decaying urban wilderness of Buenos Aires, the circus. No surprise there. I was raised Roman Catholic by two theatre fanatics. Hands down, though, it’s the language I liked best about this story. It’s gorgeous, and by that I mean break-out-in-a stupid-grin-while-reading-it / catch yourself whispering the lush word pairings aloud gorgeous.

Faun will have to be an #fridayreads one day very soon.