Sunday, November 6, 2011

Story Sundays: Some Place, Court Merrigan

"Some Place" by Court Merrigan, new up over at Necessary Fiction this week, is at first glance a fairly straightforward story about a man, provoked by an irritating, intrusive, unidentifiable "buzzing, a beeping - a maniacal monotone." Unable to sleep, he drives off into the night and finds himself giving a ride to Loralee, an out-of-cash, feisty gal he meets at the convenience store who just needs a little gas so she can get home. He takes her back to her "husband" and finds himself in the middle of an argument. All the while, he hears the hum.

As a bit of a poor sleeper myself, I love a story about insomnia. I enjoyed our protagonist's journey out into the night, a place which, as anyone who has ever worked overnight shifts knows, has routines and denizens all its own. I also thought Loralee was a great character - Merrigan quickly conveys what we need to know about her with a few carefully chosen but telling details, such as her "cheap rings" and giant purple denim purse, and her scrappy, spirited conversational style.

In the background of this story, along with the constant hum, is the fact of our main character's wife, Hannah, being away. He feels the weighty oppression of loneliness, "...the house’s empty half bearing in on him." The noise, and the man's disquiet stay with the reader throughout the story. We are left to make of the noise and the characters what we will: is it our man's loneliness? Is there more to Hannah's absence than we know? Does the noise represent a more existential discontent? What will become of them all?

You may go ponder such questions for yourself here.

Happy reading!

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Story Sundays is a weekly meme created by Ellen at Fat Books, Thin Women (currently on blogging break) and also celebrated at Novelniche: A Place for Books. Be sure to check out their blogs for wonderful Story Sunday selections and other excellent reviews!


  1. This sounds like a story that's right up my alley. I suffer from insomnia, and it seems like it's a disease because if you can't sleep, it surely affects other areas of your life. I am curious to know what the hum is that he hears. Hmmmm. Thanks for sharing.

  2. So true, not sleeping is so aggravating, probably thus inspiring many stories! (love the sound effects, LOL - hmmmmm!)


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