‘The Bird Thing’ by Julianne Pachico

This is story is not overtly surreal, magical or supernatural, at least not in the manner of Kafka or Can Xue, but it shares something with these writers — a sense of real-life being lived as science fiction. ‘The Bird Thing’ is full of suggestion and possibility, built through texture, light and colour: ‘The bird thing has just left. You can tell even before you open the door. The pot has boiled over; the stovetop is covered with a strange white crust, the egg cracked open and cooked away into a frothy grey mist.’ I ought to add that Pachico is my friend, but when you read this story you’ll know it’s earned its place.

(First published in The White Review, 2015. Read online.)

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