My latest short story is published with Close to the Bone.
When Chuan stepped out of the shower, hearing his phone ring for the 10th time in the last hour, he knew they were serious. He knew they were after him. He knew they could get him any time. He had no defense, no weapons, no influential wealthy friends in high places. He lit a cigarette and let it ring.
His wife had left on the afternoon flight to Paris. They’d said he was a traitor to the country, a nation hater, because he was married to a foreigner. Half the country was married to a foreigner, one way or the other, but half the country didn’t speak out, didn’t complain, didn’t point out the nepotism, the political murders, the systemic corruption, the under-the-table back-room decisions that pushed thousands into destitution, generation after generation.
Chuan wrote. Sometimes he appeared on television. Twice they’d come, put a bag over his head, dragged him to a military camp, put him in a cell and questioned him for days on end. He’d written about that. He had nothing to hide. He was a writer. It was the job he’d been trained for. They could pick up a newspaper if they wanted to know what he was thinking, he told them. They had picked up the newspapers. Perhaps they just wanted him to confirm it in person, that they were all in service of tyranny….
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