Short Stories by Jess Hyslop

Art by Seth Alan Bareiss

Art by Seth Alan Bareiss

Title: The Sandman’s Dreams

Published: April 2013 in Daily Science Fiction

Genre: speculative fiction

Length: 4 pages

Setting: an average household, present day

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Susan has been dreaming the best dreams lately, which she knows means the Sandman has been visiting. That was great when she was younger, but now she’s married with a kid and she needs him to leave her alone.

Final thoughts: A sweet story. Susan chooses to stay with her family instead of with the Sandman. I mean, what can he offer her besides the best dreams? Can she even be with him when she’s awake? Possibly, since she sees him in person at the end.

Title comes from: Susan denies the Sandman his dreams (of having her) but allows him to continue to visit her son, since you can’t deny a child his dreams.

Title: Triolet

Published: May 2013 in Interzone

Genre: fantasy

Length: 15 pages

Setting: a typical suburban neighborhood, present day

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Lisa and her husband are fascinated by the elderly Mrs. Entwistle’s house and yard. Mrs. Entwistle grows poem plants – if you touch the plant, it starts reciting it’s poem. One day Mrs. Entwistle gives the young couple a poem that reignites their love for each other. The narrator gets a promotion, which turns out to involve a much bigger time commitment than is good for their relationship. It seems that Lisa is having an affair, and the narrator blames the poem and Mrs. Entwistle.

Final thoughts: The couple started out so happy, and then what looked like something that was good for the couple (the poem flower, the promotion) turned out not to be. How typical of so many jobs that consume your life, and then you’re left with no time to have fun. The poem flowers were an interesting twist. I wonder how Mrs. Entwistle bred the different poems? Did it have to be flowering to say the poem? Would I want one in my house?

Title comes from: The type of poem the couple were given.

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