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Short Stories 365:213

I spent today getting dirty. Not in the good way, more's the pity, but in a literal sense. The back room at my new store is somewhat akin to an archeological dig. There's stuff there from way long ago, and it's been driving me mental for months now. There's also a project in the works whereby I get to spend a day - ten hours, to be exact - in the store next week with four other people, solely in the backroom cleaning it and reorganizing it from top to bottom. So I'm trying to do a bit every day that makes that task a little more possible.

It's a little daunting, but step-by-step I'm getting closer to the goal.

"Facing the Mirror," by Dianne Despain

This is the second story in I Never Thought I'd See You Again and its placement is definitely enough to let the reader know that the range of tales within this collection - each prompted by the line that is the title of the collection - will be wide. The first tale was a thriller. The second tale is about a woman facing - or not facing - cancer.

I think the strength of this tale is in the verisimilitude. At no point did I have any trouble imagining myself in this place, or in the place of the character's husband, and all the reactions, frustrations, delusions, and angers were absolutely understandable and real. There's a rawness alongside the numbness of denial and confusion that is a perfect paradox for the situation. I've had family members fight and win and lose against cancer, and this story was as easy to put on as an old shirt that I loathed, but fit perfectly. It's a tricky balance to write something this cruelly honest, and the ultimate ending was a good mix.

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