Belly up: Stories by Rita Bullwinkel


Things are so easy to ruin, I remember thinking.  I remember thinking, why did I do that thing that I knew was going to have a bad ending?

This is a strange, unique story collection, but not so strange to be off-putting for some. Of all the tales, Black Tongue was my favorite. There is something painfully relatable to that part of us that is pulled by things we know are just a form of sabotage, be it physical or emotional. Standing there in the aftermath of a mess we made, thinking ‘I did this to myself.”  The Florida stories made me laugh, familiar with Cassadaga, the Spiritualist community, ‘psychic capital’ of the world and Gator tacos ‘tastes like chicken’ specials. Okay, so it’s a strange state and things are faded by the sun, and we are sometimes a world unto ourselves but we’re never boring.

What I Would Be If I Wasn’t What I Am is a thoughtful little piece. There are so many parts to us, made different by marriage as much as by being a parent, a sister, a friend. What is the true solid core? Because we are different for who we know, love. I’m mucking up an interesting story about a widow. Oh the strange life of cohabitation, of love. There are stories of ghosts and hired bra hands (some of us do pay outrageous prices for our brassieres, out of necessity), tricky snakes, and 24 hour donut shops where it’s okay to be an ugly teenager, who deserve love stories too.

In the South, the Sand Winds Are Our Greatest Enemy is a peculiar tale of banished brothers Gleb (the surgeon) and Oleg (the sculptor) working in a prison infirmary, full of wit and strange skills. There is nothing they can’t repair, and no one. They make great use of corpses, and outsmart the officer in control.

Stories that have an air of mystery while surrounded by the ordinary. Clever!

Available Now

Publisher:  A Strange Object





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