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Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose
by Kelly Link
We were going to name the baby Beatrice. I just remembered that. We were going to name her after your aunt, the one that doesn’t like me. Didn’t like me. Did she come to the funeral?
I’ve been here for three days, and I’m trying to pretend that it’s just a vacation, like when we went to that island in that country. Santorini? Great Britain? The one with all the cliffs. The one with the hotel with the bunkbeds, and little squares of pink toilet paper, like handkerchiefs. It had seashells in the window too, didn’t it, that were transparent like bottle glass? They smelled like bleach? It was a very nice island. No trees. You said that when you died, you hoped heaven would be an island like that. And now I’m dead, and here I am.
This is an island too, I think. There is a beach, and down on the beach is a mailbox where I am going to post this letter. Other than the beach, the mailbox, there is the building in which I sit and write this letter. It seems to be a perfectly pleasant resort hotel with no other guests, no receptionist, no host, no events coordinator, no bellboy. Just me. There is a television set, very old-fashioned, in the hotel lobby. I fiddled the antenna for a long time, but never got a picture. Just static. I tried to make images, people out of the static. It looked like they were waving at me.
About the Author
Kelly Link is the author of the collections Get in Trouble, Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters. She and Gavin J. Grant have co-edited a number of anthologies, including Monstrous Affections and Steampunk!. Her short stories have been published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Tin House, A Public Space,McSweeney’s, One Story, The Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. Link was born in Miami, Florida. She currently lives with her husband and daughter in Northampton, Massachusetts.
About the Narrator
Anson Mount is perhaps best known for playing ‘Cullen Bohannon’ on the AMC television series Hell on Wheels. You can catch him this fall playing ‘Black Bolt’ in Marvel’s The Inhumans, on ABC beginning September 29th. He and his producing partner Branan Edgens will also be launching a podcast of their own this fall called The Well. In it, Mount and Edgens will feature interviews and stories about creative inspiration from some of today’s most interesting artists, celebrities, thinkers and innovators. But what Anson is truly proud of is the fact that his girlfriend Darah Trang recently agreed to become his wife while standing by a lake in Tennessee and staring up at the 4th of July fireworks. Celebration ensued.