STR: Orange Juice by Cath Barton

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Orange Juice – Cath Barton

This short piece of fiction appears in Idler and was first published and illustrated by Sue Gent for Inktrap Magazine

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“This is a very short tale written with a confident freedom that keeps the pace moving. It centres on the reminiscences of the narrator and his friend as ten year olds. It is summer and the possibilities are endless. They are allowed to escape and explore the world in a way their mothers can’t and there is adventure to be had. But from the very beginning of the story something is not right and we are warned that something shocking happens. This is the pivotal device by which the story holds us. What at first appears to be a very normal trip promises to reveal abnormal events. This tension is maintained carefully and when the shock comes it hits hard. This is a well paced story, that might only have been improved by a little more background understanding of the motivations of the resulting actions.”

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:

The matter-of-fact tone and reveal is disarming and reminds me of the famous Carver story ‘Tell the Women We’re Going’ from his collection ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love’ about two life-long friends and the shocking change that comes over one of them. If you haven’t read Carver’s story read it here:

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The SHORT TALE Review 2016

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