Online Read: The Cure, by Rahul Mehta

There are a number of really good places to find short fiction online, and Fifty-Two Stories is one of them. You should definitely bookmark www.fiftytwostories.com and check them out. With a new short story every week, sponsored by Harper Perennial books, this is a great place to find something fresh and new.

The current story, The Cure, is by Rahul Mehta, and is an excerpt from his forthcoming short fiction collection, Quarantine: Stories.

The first lines of The Cure:

I told the doctor over the phone I needed an appointment fast—tomorrow, if possible. Are you going to hurt yourself, she asked, or someone else? No, I said. I was burning money. She said, Tomorrow at three, and I asked, Do you take check or credit card, because obviously I can’t carry around cash, ha ha, but she didn’t seem to get the joke.

The first-person narrator, here, has an addiction to setting cash on fire. He asks some friends what he should do about it:

When I asked what I should do, all three said, Therapy!, and began bickering over whose therapist was best, offering me their cell-phone numbers…In the end, I chose the one who returned my call first: Juliette’s.

The story is filled with these sorts of funny asides and sharp observations. It is was a quick read, and fun, but more importantly, this story has that “other quality” of a story that lingers, the character–and his predicament–sticks around, doesn’t fade too soon. Go check it out!

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