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Short Stories 365/135 | N.S. Beranek

“The Red Coat” by George E. Jordan from Saints and Sinners 2014: New Fiction from the Festival (Bold Strokes Books).

Full disclosure: I have a story in this anthology.

The story that closes this collection offers a delightful stroll through the darkened streets of the French Quarter. Perhaps because I had just spent days wandering down those streets, studying rows of Creole cottages, I was able to see, with perfect clarity, the enchanting setting of this story.

John is a transplant from Kentucky, in New Orleans because his work required his relocation. It’s the holidays and he is all alone when he meets an alluring, androgynous creature named Desiree. The sun has set and it is getting cold, so he offers him or her a ride home. To his surprise, Desiree accepts, and John soon finds himself utterly captivated by his new acquaintance.

I had the pleasure of speaking with the author before a panel discussion at this year’s Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. He told me he has many more such stories waiting to be committed to paper, stories that are chock full of his memories of New Orleans from decades ago. He told me he isn’t sure he will write them down. What a shame it will be if he doesn’t.