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Posted: Sunday January 1, 2017
“New Year’s Day”: A Very Short Story
[The Days cover]

Happy (Gregorian) New Year! On this occasion, while you are perhaps nursing a hangover or traveling or making resolutions, please enjoy a very short story from M.A.C. Farrant’s book The Days: Forecasts, Warnings, Advice ($14.95). This story may be found on page 108.

New Year’s Day

It was an odd party. At one point I said to Matt Grover over by the cheese tray, “You got pinkeye?” “No,” he said. “I was up all night sobbing uncontrollably.”

In the living room, Morris, the chef, was sobbing with joy about his work. This was on the couch beside the retro lamp. “I get you hungry,” he said. “I reach you on a physiological level. Your pupils dilate, your mouth waters, your stomach rumbles. The only other people who can do that are in the porn industry.”

Light from the sunset turned the room pink causing everyone except Lee-Ann to say it was beautiful. Lee-Ann went pale and grabbed her chest. Warren, her husband, said not to worry and gave her two sublingual Ativans. In a couple of minutes Lee-Ann stopped panting.

Warren then spoke to the few of us still standing around. He spoke like a tour guide, detached, yet cheerful. “It’s spirits penetrating the visible world,” he said. “They originate from crystals, beautiful light. Lee-Ann is sensitive to their presence and gets spooked.”

“Spirits,” we said.

“That’s right,” Warren said.

“How many?” Brian asked.

“You never know,” Warren said. “Sometimes a few, sometimes thousands.”

Then around six-thirty a bunch of people with those subprime mortgages just got in their cars and left. I’d never seen anything like it.