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Short Stories 365:324

I just had a wonderful night. My husband and I went to go see Hamlet (solo) at the N.A.C., with Raoul Bhaneja, who was flipping brilliant. It's a rare treat to see someone with that amount of skill at characterization with no props but their own voice, gesture, and posture to work with. Seriously phenomenal.

It's also way later than usual, and I'm ready to pass out.

"The Harvestbuck," by Steve Berman

Speaking of passing out, the young man in the first tale of Steve Berman's Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Readers is sure he's hallucinating. He has taken a few pills too many to avoid the images he keeps having of his ex entangled with others - but now a call from his best friend has him racing out into the woods to rescue him, despite the fog in his brain.

What follows is an eerie and atmospheric story that was spooky in that perfect "show, don't tell" way that gets right under my skin. It's an excellent way to open the collection, letting the reader know exactly what kind of "fairy tales" to buckle in for. And I may or may not now need to take a long drive through the woods to get over a new mild phobia.