Sunday, December 7, 2008


Fiction: Out of Love by Randall Brown « Euphony

This is one of those portrait Flash pieces. Call it a character study. Watch the writer, too, he's in there as well.

Brown carries us through this Lucy's life like a Ghost of the Past - to be seasonal, like Marley's Ghost. We find the longing and heartbreak Lucy has endured and coped with. She's done some shocking things, but we find compassion for her.

Brown shows us in the first sentence that she is a person who deserves compassion. She's an "sympathetic character" in more sterile language. This is what I look for. This is what Algren showed me was possible: finding compassion for a person whose actions we might otherwise find objectionable.

Lucy is not a horrible person. She sleeps with her Math teacher in high school, an incident we might (legally) find the teacher culpable for, but Brown also shows what drives Lucy to that alley.

Then there's the writer, "writing her." Lucy finds him at the end, reads over his shoulder in an intimate scene so palpable I know Brown feels her breath and senses her heat. Lucy is now a ghost, visiting the lonely writer scribbling at his desk, a ghost on a visitation.

A dream made real in the writer's studio.

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