“Sound of Chords” by Jimmy Chen

17 Dec

He’s at it again. “Sounds of Chords” by Jimmy Chen over at Failbetter might be one of my favorite stories that I’ve read all year. The risks are cool and totally pay off, like having characters “Guy with guitar” and “Guy” and “Girl” as well as writing about “Girl’s” cutting and suicide attempts. In terms of subject matter and execution through language, Chen is on his smooth game here.

Check it out:

Girl sitting on floor in college dormitory room listening to the unshaped strum of G looks at guy with acoustic guitar then looks down at the carpet again, at her shoes, the new ones she got for the party, ones which might turn her into the kind of person she wanted to be, somebody loud and obnoxious who took what she wanted in a world that wasn’t keeping score. Timid for his actual head, she settles for the shadow, placed behind him as a portable stain. Her name is Amber, Amber with an A; not ember with an E, though there is a fire inside her chest, coal black coming out snapping red through her arms and legs every time she touches the knife. “D’you know any Dylan,” she asks.


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