What would happen if we stopped using words? Walsh’s story charts the breakdown of language and relationships, working through what happens when words are no longer enough and through writing opens up new possibility for articulation outside of language. It is of course delightfully playful in its language, so that people are “dead to the word” and the failing economy places a picture at “five thousand, ten thousand words, a million!” The old writing adage is to show not tell, but in telling us the state of things, Walsh brings language and character to the forefront to create a new word-less world out of her words.
First Published in Best European Fiction, 2015. Collected in The Best British Short Stories 2015, Salt, 2015 and World’s from the Word’s End, And Other Stories, 2017