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Short Stories 365/75 | N.S. Beranek

“Cruel Movember” by Steve Berman from Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Readers (Lethe Press, 2014).

I enjoyed this story about a boy whose boyfriend’s behavior changes dramatically and without explanation. Easton decides to take part in Movember by donning a different fake mustache every day. The main character, his boyfriend Beau, finds the faux ‘staches repugnant and can’t understand why Easton insists on continuing to show up at school wearing them, even after the practice lands him in hot water with school officials, who don’t buy his assertion that he suddenly feels altruistic. Beau is equally skeptical. Thankfully he goes digging for answers in an effort to support his boyfriend and save their relationship.

By turns sweet and funny, this is one of the only stories in the collection that isn’t speculative. The accompanying illustrations  perfectly match it in tone.