(from The Better of McSweeney’s Vol 2)
“Your boy is a smart boy,” the teacher said. “The death of his father must have come as a shock. But still,” the teacher said, “there is school.”
She looked into the refrigerator to offer the teacher something. There wasn’t much. She hadn’t been to the store in days. She opened the bottom bin and found two lemons. She took them out and put them on the table where they rolled for a moment. The mother got her wooden chopping board and placed the lemons on it and cut each lemon in four. She pushed the chopping board toward the teacher. “Please, have some.”
I like this story a lot. It’s written in a simple way that belies the seriousness of the subject matter. It reminds me of Roddy Doyle’s “New Boy,” which was also published in McSweeney’s, and which I loved.
The ending surprised me in a good way.
I think I would be a better, more successful writer if my name was Yannick Murphy.