This week’s story was published by The Future Fire online magazine in December 2012. This magazine seeks to publish “new speculative fiction and art with a social conscience, a political sensibility and of the highest quality.” Their mission statement of wanting to focus on fiction with a “social conscience” is interesting and magnetizing, to me. The website is full of wonderful stories, and “Millie” is only one of them. Check them out here.
This piece is essentially a character-driven narrative. There is an old wives’ tale that the difference between genre fiction and literary fiction is that the former is plot-driven, whereas the latter is character-driven. Well, Caro’s piece blows that assertion right out of the sky.
It is told from the perspective of an unnamed narrator that has a startling secret. The first sentence (“When my father died, I inherited my coffin.”) hooks a reader immediately, even though it’s as yet unclear how that inheritance is possible. The story is barely 2600 words, but Caro masterfully reveals the secret of the narrator’s body without an annoying infodump.
I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did!