I didn’t know much about Housefire about two weeks ago – it was just on lists everywhere I looked. Once I opened it, though, I began compulsively reading the short fiction. I looked past the photography. I can’t tell what’s good – I’ve never studied photography – so I’ll leave those comments out and just concentrate on the writing.
I love the freedom this blog has bestowed upon on my mouse. I just poke around and click on the stuff that sounds like it might be interesting. I’m well aware that I’m missing about a thousand other great works with less interesting titles, but I find that I’m more likely to click on a woman author, more likely to click on a strange title, and less likely to plow through anything that is not interesting in the very first ten seconds of my reading time.
This highly scientific method led me to I Found Her In the Branches, written by someone who calls herself The Chunnel. The story details the jobs of folks paid to keep the main character from thinking about things on a list. The jobs employ aversion-therapy techniques, forming a kind of extrinsic negative feedback loop. I have no idea what the title means, but the story is at once funny and dark, and psychologically searing. I can’t get the velcro chair out of my head, frankly.