(from Story Quarterly #42)
Half an hour before Mimi was due back from school, I got out of bed and fried a grilled cheese sandwich in a pan with lots of butter. I wasn’t hungry at all, but we’d agreed once that the smell of grilled cheese filling a kitchen was the coziest smell in the world.
Mimi’s brief kidnapping is scary, and her mother, our narrator, is understandably changed by it. In fact, she keeps talking about how changed she is. Issues of paranoia and co-dependency are explored matter-of-factly, but we’re so deep in the mother’s head, we can’t help but feel sympathetic. Still. The story is so deliberate and singular in purpose, that it’s tough to feel swept up in it. But there’s a reason you can’t turn off a Lifetime Original Movie without a fight. And the twist at the end is worth the trip.
(I couldn’t find a decent pic of Story Quarterly 42 online, so I took my own.)