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.)