This was my favorite story of all the short fiction I read in the past couple of weeks.
It’s a story of innocence – or something like it.
Portrait of Man on Bench by Carrie Houghton shows us that everyone – especially those we overlook – has multitudes to tell.
Careful not to read my comments before you read the story; spoilers may lurk within. You’ve been warned.
This was one of those sad, bittersweet stories that I didn’t think I would like at first.
Ralph is a lot of things: old, stubborn, lonely. He’s also a storehouse of information; you can tell just by the clipped way he spoke, the care in which he selected the crackers, and the way he doesn’t judge those walking by.
Read this story because we could all use a little more empathy.
Read this story because it’s good.
Read this story because it won!
If you read all this way and didn’t read the story first, shame on you – but go read it now. You won’t regret it.