Strangers

A Story

by Philip Tate

Well, written, really. That second paragraph draws you right in. The suspense builds nicely (WHEN are they coming back?). The next door neighbor . . . involved somehow?

But . . . some further tiny twist, maybe, or an inkling of what's to come?

An intriguing, heart-wrenching story. Loved it.

Strangely satisfying, like a small star slowly moving through a mass of black. Thank you.

I love the way the story moves from precision to vagueness; the empty house, the dog dying. The idea is rich and the language allows me to imagine everything between the words.

Brilliant last line. Thanks for the inspiration I was looking for! Now, if only I could craft something like that.

It makes you wonder what the man saw in the faces of his family when they walked through the door. That's why it's a good story. I'm left to wonder.

"No one is dead," Marie wrote. The dog wasn't dead either when he arrived at the home. It was in a pitiable state and one would think his wife and children might be as well--not dead, but not far from being.

Amazingly clean prose, suspended somewhere between Kafka and Sleeping Beauty.

It ended far too soon. Interesting characters. I want more!

I really enjoyed this story. You did a wonderful job creating a tense, unsettling atmosphere, and I thought the conclusion was effective. I am very frightened for him. What are these gray shapeless people going to do to him? Your description of his family is a very eery, nuanced way to convey his psychology, his fear and alienation. The last line was wonderful--his anxiety over explaining the dog's death a stand-in for his anxiety over explaining his own absence. Thanks!


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