Bartleby Snopes has published my latest science fiction short story, Culpability. And! They’ve nominated it for a Pushcart Prize!
Banff doesn’t change. Everywhere else does—so quickly that I feel bewildered and lost almost on a daily basis. But in Banff, the stores are still crammed with the moose-themed souvenirs and little bottles of maple syrup. The mountains surrounding the town are the same, and when I look at them, it’s not limestone and calcareous shale, but memories of years ago. The ghosts of childhoods and ski trips, hot summers and damp autumn days. While Jaywant sleeps in, I sit alone in a booth in the hotel restaurant and watch the tourists taking pictures of the sunrise. They painstakingly crop out the parking lot and the bear-proof dumpsters, carefully editing out what they don’t want to see. As if it’s that easy.
It was my suggestion that we take a small trip and spend some time together before he has to go back to Paris for the inquest. He did not want to go. “People will recognize me,” he said.
“But I got you a window seat on the train,” I said. “And I booked a hotel room.”
He made a face that I remember him making as a boy: wrinkling his forehead, his nose scrunched up. “I’m not sharing with my mother.”
“You get your own,” I told him, but I didn’t add that it was adjoining.
He huffed and sighed. He agreed because I gave him the pained expression that is the weapon of all mothers everywhere. “You need to get away,” I tell him. His doctors agree with me, but I do not say this. “It’ll be good for you.”
If you like the story, you can vote for it for story of the month here. Thanks!