I’m in the midst of reading my way through a short story collection by Tom Franklin. I love the way he can make a sad or even brutal story into a thing of beauty

Today I’m talking about two more stories from Poachers.

Blue Horses and The Ballad of Duane Juarez by Tom Franklin
Part of the Collection Poachers
Published: 1999

Blue Horses features two men on a mission of mercy take something important to a dying friend. A brief respite in an imaginary world is better than reality for all three of them for a few moments.

In The Ballad of Duane Juarez, Duane is divorced, unemployed and fairly dependent on his wealthy brother. Duane takes on various day jobs for his brother in return for being allowed to stay in one of the many houses his brother owns. The latest ‘job’ is a little disturbing, but then again, so is Duane.

These are both rather dark, depressive and slightly disturbing stories, but in Tom Franklin’s able hands they are also full of sharp and moody images painted with words. Franklin has the ability to make you see and feel the stories both with what he writes and what he leaves you to fill in on your own.

Short Story Mondays is hosted by John at The Book Mine Set.