The Yarnball Woman – Michael Milne

By the third time Patricia lost a finger, everyone knew better than to raise a fuss. Her family hadn’t always been this calm. When the first finger, a knuckle’s-worth of her left pinky, had fallen plumply into her dinner salad, there had been an enormous commotion. Her young daughters screamed and bolted into the back yard, and hours later had to be coaxed back inside. Jack fumbled with the phone in the kitchen, trying to…

Keep reading

A question for Michael Milne

Q: What’s the story no one else thinks is as good as you do?

A: “She Waits, Seething, Blooming” by Dave Eggers is a perfect capsule of a story. It is the thinnest sliver a short story can be, a perfectly defined cross-section of a character’s life. It’s so, so good because it’s so, so short: the story itself is complete, and has a definite arc over its tiny wordcount. But it contains multitudes, and you can absolutely sense the world before the story takes place and the world after. We never learn the main character’s name, nor her son’s, but we get such a perfectly shaped glimpse of her life that we don’t need to. I remember reading this story years ago and suddenly being convinced of what short fiction can do, and I reread it (it doesn’t take long to read again) a few times a year when I need to edit!


Michael Milne’s story “The Yarnball Woman” was
published on Friday, 14 September 2018.

Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

About Michael Milne

Michael Milne is a writer and teacher living in Switzerland. He has written speculative fiction and overstayed his welcome in coffee shops throughout Canada, China, Korea, and most of continental Europe.

www.michaelmilne.ca, @ironcardigan


Michael Milne’s story “The Yarnball Woman” was
published on Friday, 14 September 2018.

Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.