Often, the littlest detail can tell a story — and today’s feature teases out a compelling and emotional tale from one such frozen moment.
A Fragile Heart
[Sad] [Slice of Life] • 2,511 words
A short story about waiting, hay fries, and the dangers of space and silence in matters of the heart.
Takes place in the background of “Twilight Time”.
FROM THE CURATORS: To describe this as “a short and simple tale about a guy waiting in a restaurant,” as Horizon did in his nomination, is true but utterly misleading: it hit us so squarely in the feels that it went from nominee to feature in a record-shattering 39 minutes.
A Fragile Heart was exemplary in that it was “bitter, but not saccharine,” JohnPerry said. “It’s the sort of sad story I really love: one that sells its emotions without resorting to hammering you over the head with them.” Present Perfect agreed. “Little things like the pause burning in the back of his throat really sell the emotion,” he said. “There’s something to be said for being able to wring sadness out of a typo on the menu.”
Those emotions were in service of a beautifully nuanced portrayal of the protagonist’s troubled romance. “Its look at the main character’s relationship in all its complexity — the good and the bad, the raw and the precious — balances the story between tragedy and closure,” Horizon said, while Present Perfect was more direct: “All the things he doesn’t say are heartwrenching. I felt so bad for this guy.”
Another highlight of the story’s strong prose was a Pinkie Pie appearance that was “sweet but not cloying,” in Horizon’s words. Present Perfect added that her appearance was “patently ridiculous in a perfectly Pinkie way. … In another story, it would pull you out of the sad feelings, but in this one, it just serves to show that, yeah, life goes on.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Newtaloo discusses ear math, sad fries, and bag gulls.