Posted in Short Stories

Sallie Bingham: Bare Bones

Deal Me In 2020 – Week 44

The bare bones writing of Sallie Bingham’s short story “Bare Bones” presents the loneliness of Lilly as she deals with her recent divorce. And the loneliness is out there in full force – nothing is hidden.

The story ends with this little simile:

You are twenty-six, and you are divorced, and you have a child. It was so strange, so small and hopeless – a revelation, yet small and hopeless. She turned the three facts over and over, like three pebbles in her hand. They were cool and solid and round, and she did not know what she would find to do with them.

I find it interesting that Bingham seems to know not only how to end this story but she knows when. The roughly eight-page story ends perfectly so as to invoke empathy from the reader for Lilly. If the story went any longer it would invoke pity – which is different.

This story is included in Home and Beyond: An Anthology of Kentucky Short Stories edited by Morris Allen Grubbs. I read it when I selected the Ten of Diamonds for Week 44 of my Deal Me In 2020 short story project. Check out my Deal Me In 2020 list here. Deal Me In is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.

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