Reading & Writing

Two Unforgettable Short Stories


Both of these stories come from the magazine, Willow Springs:–the litmag where I interned during grad school–and I had the pleasure of editing both stories. “Sine Die” was actually the winner of our yearly contest the year I was in charge of it, though the official decision was made by our editor-in-chief with the support of his editors. Maybe I’m biased, but I believe these are two amazing pieces of short fiction. Both deal with the subject of memory, and both stand out as favorites, from my first year working at Willow Springs to my last.

“Sine Die” by Sarah Hulse, from Willow Springs 71

The doctors claim that Jeremiah’s awareness of his own condition is a blessing. Often, they’ve told us, people with anterograde amnesia don’t know they have it; they are constantly surprised by their own inability to remember.

“The Receiving Tower” by Matt Bell from Willow Springs 65

The captain lets the men speak, and then, calmly, asks each of the dissenters where they are from, knowing these men will not be able to remember their hometowns, that they haven’t been able to for years.
The captain, he always knows how to quiet us.