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Short Stories 365/174 | N.S. Beranek

“Spin Cycle” by Greg Herren from Men of the Mean Streets (Bold Strokes Books, 2011). Edited by Greg Herren and J.M. Redmann.

Well, this was a lot of fun. I’m not sure there’s much I can say about it without giving it away, but I’ll take a shot.

The narrator lives in post-Katrina New Orleans. The house he rents didn’t flood but its roof was blown off, and most of his things were destroyed. Now he’s living in the carriage house while the main property is being repaired. It’s been months and months of living in a sea of boxes, trying to tune out the sounds of construction, when he gets a surprise visitor. It’s the police, investigating a crime involving the contractor hired to restore the place and his wife.

The narrator tells what he knows about the pair to the detective—there’s a clever play on words in the story’s title—and by comparing the scenes shown in flashback with the detective’s responses to what she’s just been told, the reader slowly pieces together the true story events.