‘And You Will Stand On Windswept Beaches’ by Owen Booth

This is another one of my favourite secret stories, discovered quivering and jellified, fresh from the author’s brain. I could happily have chosen Owen Booth’s prize-winning White Review story or his Moth Short Story Prize winner, and nearly did, but I prefer this one for its concealed power. It was given away as an Influx Patreon Incentive in 2018, openly acknowledged as a ‘work in progress’, complete with the odd typo.

And you will be a warning to others. And you will be a cautionary tale. And you will be the before in the before and after pictures. And you will be terrified, most of the time, and like an idiot you will visit your fear and pain on everyone around you. And one day everything will finally fall apart in front of you and you won’t even realise that this is the best thing that could possible [sic] have happened. And you will trudge across snowy fields keeping your eyes out for rogue polar bears because you never know. 

For me this is like dipping my toe into an elemental stream of consciousness as it bubbles fresh from underground. It’s almost a sermon. It’s shapeless and every sentence starts with an ‘And’ and I absolutely freaking love it. 

Gifted an Influx Patreon Incentive, 2018

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