Richard Bausch, "Something Is Out There"

After her husband gets shot earlier in the day, a wife in a small town starts to get the sense that things are unraveling.

(from Something Is Out There)

At first, I was the one battening down the hatches, fearing a story of lame/poignant domestic tension. I mean, there’s this aunt that just won’t shut up. It took a few pages for Bausch to up the ante, but he did it kinda brilliantly heaping on the tension little by little. By the end I was loving it. SPOILER ALERT: Short stories like this, ones that don’t resolve their primary conflict, get a lot of shit for copping out and not delivering a payoff to the loyal reader. Sometimes, I agree with that feeling of ripped-offness. But not with this one. I like not knowing what comes next. Uncertainty is the whole point.

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