"At work I am composed and civil and do not break anything"
November 25, 2021 7:20 AM   Subscribe

Two short speculative stories about coping and related struggles. "Dragons" by Teresa Milbrodt (published this year) has a hard-to-quit video game: “I've thought about getting glasses,” the dragon said as we sat on rocks with mugs in our hands and the tin of butter cookies on another rock between us. The dragon even had cloth napkins, which hid the gaping wound in my abdomen. “How to Remember to Forget to Remember the Old War” by R.B. Lemberg (content note for self-harm): "I am luckier than most. Numbers come easy to me, and I look grave and presentable in my heavy jackets that are not armor." The Lemberg story is also available in audio.
posted by brainwane (4 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
The dragons story is very sweet. I kind of wish it was a bit more explained, but I do appreciate the "we can't really do much heroic in real life"-ness of it all.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:05 AM on November 25

(The dragon is a metaphor.)
posted by AlSweigart at 5:02 PM on November 25 [1 favorite]

Brainwave, I’ve spent a couple of very pleasant hours reading through the stories in your last few posts, and have been really enjoying them. Thanks a lot for this. I haven’t read short stories in a long time, and I forgot how enjoyable they can be.
posted by Orlop at 7:34 PM on November 25 [2 favorites]

"Dragons" - an oral version I heard - the youngster goes on the quest to find the pearl between the dragon's teeth, finds the awesome dragon but is too terrified to remove the pearl. Goes home - falls in love, looks after family and friends, dealing with sickness, disability and death.

As an oldster goes back to look for the dragon - and once found, the pearl is as beautiful as in the past, but - my goodness - the dragon has diminished in comparison to the troubles that have been endured. And takes the pearl.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 11:03 PM on November 25 [1 favorite]

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