Notes on the Fiction Selections

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April 17, 2017 by The Citron Review

Since I could remember, I have always been drawn to the heartbreaking stories. Some of those stories turn and bring a joy at the end, but others remain heartbreaking. Or, the heartbreak hits you right at the end, like a hard slap to the face that leaves a sting long after it happens. “A Canyon’s Secret” left me with a sting that was felt long after I read it. The sting felt fresh again after I read it a second and third time.

And then there are the stories that inspire a resounding yes! from anyone who reads them. The heartbreak is that universal; the writing is that crisp. “It Would Not Have Our Bones” is a story that had each of the fiction editors saying yes. And it is the imagery that stings us.

Some stories sting because of how real they feel. You imagine yourself in them, or you hope and pray you will never be in such situations. “The Sky Was Electric Blue” is the kind of story you never hope to realize, but the simple power that it could happen is the sting that lingers: a mother’s ache and a horrible accident. It stings with the same truthfulness as “Kendrick Court, July 1983”.

When the sting continues to haunt you long after you have left the page, that is when you have stumbled onto a good story. When I am left asking why, as I did after reading “Dead Matches” and “Victory”.

As you read the fiction selections of this Spring issue, I sincerely hope that you are left with the haunting and heartbreaking images that captivated us as we read.


Elizabeth De Arcos
Senior Fiction Editor

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