Story of the Week #13 — “Lower Your Muzzle” by Megan Giddings

This week’s story is by a former classmate of mine. Megan graduated with her master’s degree a year before I did and is now studying for her MFA. Her writing is definitely what I would call Literary with a capital ‘L,’ and it’s no surprise to me that her stories are getting picked up left and right, because they’re full of emotion and great language and just some kind of raw intensity that is difficult to execute. Megan deserves all the attention she gets — she’s diligent as well as talented, and it shows in her work.

A couple weeks ago one of her flash pieces was picked up by wigleaf, an online mag dedicated to fiction 1000 words or less. The piece is a fun (yet poignant and somewhat gut-wrenching) story about the human capacity for ‘mercy.’ It’s a quick read and it will make you think.

But then it fails. It breaks its leg, ca-rack. You fish the pistol out from between the starlight mints and the credit cards in your leather purse. You have to kill it because to not kill it would be cruel and you refuse to be someone cruel.

Its one dark eye says, thank you, thank you as you aim.

I’m glad I got to spend a year reading Megan’s stories. I think we could all learn from her.

Read the full story and let me know what you think.

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