May is "Short Story Month."
Leaping through the stories two-by-two in SWEAT has brought me to the finish with this entry. Grab a towel so you'll be ready to mop your brow once the last two tales are done.
Joseph Baneth Allen's "Goran's Run" is a wonderful story with a sweetness to it I wasn't expecting. A young man's life changes when he catches a home run ball and gets to meet the batter who sent it careening into his hands, Goran. But years later, when that young man - now a prominent reporter and author in the sports industry - tries to find Goran, he hits dead end after dead end. Unraveling the mystery and moving forward entwine, and the result was a lovely and gentle touch.
"Changing Lanes" by Max Reynolds focuses on one of my favourite themes: that of a second chance. When a stupid stunt and the enfolding accident robs an athlete of his basketball hopes, his "back-up" plan of swimming (alongside physiotherapy) falls into place. Unfortunately, one of the other swimmers, Ramirez, provides a burning distraction that no amount of cool pool water seems to sate, and soon we're wondering if the narrator is about to make another mess of his life, or if there's some hope for him - and Ramirez. This was a great way to end, on a story that was as much a beginning as a complete tale.
And that's it for SWEAT (minus my own two tales, of course). Three anthologies in one month - I hope you've enjoyed my trek through them, tale by tale. I'm not entirely sure what I'll come up with in the last few days of May for "Short Story Month" (I'm happy to have suggestions).
(Reminder: I've currently got a Goodreads giveaway for two copies of SWEAT. You can click here to enter the giveaway, the winners of which will be drawn at the end of the month.)