Short Story Interrupted

Has this ever happened to you? You are quietly reading a short story that has meticulously drawn you in. The writer has seduced you with engaging characters and a magical interweaving storyline. The momentum of the story has accelerated, built upon itself, and you flip to the last page, breathless, being hurled towards a powerful climax the likes of which you have rarely witnessed in all of literature, and then, unexpectedly, your spouse walks in the room and asks, “Did you pick up cat treats at the store today?”

Ugh!

Short stories should be read uninterrupted. After all, isn’t that what makes the short story so powerful? There’s nothing like the intensity of reading an entire story in one sitting, where every paragraph, sentence and word matters. There’s a joy in reading a well-crafted short story and marveling at how the sum is greater than it’s parts.

The novel is fine. I also enjoy a good poem, an intriguing film, or strolling through a local art gallery. But in the end, I always return to reading the short story, which I maintain is the most powerful art form, when it is read… uninterrupted.