Story A Day: “Match Game Seventy Blank” by Matt Sailor

shortstorymonth320x320Another piece of very short fiction here (after spending a day grading seemingly endless essays, it’s all I have time for right now). Published by SmokeLong Weekly, “Match Game Seventy Blank” by Matt Sailor has a great feel to it in many ways—I love, for example, the descriptions of the game show itself, that nostalgia for something that the characters never experienced—but I found the whole story vaguely disorienting in other ways. While the story seems to hinge on the relationship of the two characters watching the show, and that pivotal kiss near the end, I never felt like I had enough information about them for the kiss to have any weight or any consequence; in fact, I’m still not sure whether this is the story of two boys or a boy and a girl, and given the age and circumstances here, I think that knowing the sexes would help tremendously in terms of figuring out what’s happening emotionally here—the complications and consequences of budding sexual interest certainly being further complicated if this is a same sex relationship. In short, nicely written in many ways, but the type of story that might’ve used some additional precision and revision, a quick round or two of workshopping—at least to my mind. — Art Taylor