A Vintage Shorts “Short Story Month” Original Selection
These kinds of calls come with the territory. One evening, when the temperature in Minnesota drops way below zero and the winds howl, the furnace man Mel Todd gets asked out to see about a broken furnace in Sauerville six miles away. That was the night Mel first met Jack Swensen. Jack was a junior in high school, orphaned, smart, and quick to pick up the mechanics of the handyman’s trade—like a son Mel never had. But, Mel could never tell him how he felt, and the moment Jack turns eighteen, he disappears without a word.
From the widely-celebrated novelist Tim Gautreaux, beloved chronicler of working class America, comes this never-before-published, brilliant piece about our spirit and resilience, our dogged commitment to strive for opportunity even where there is little to be found, and the enduring importance of community.
TIM GAUTREAUX is the author of three novels and two earlier short story collections. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and GQ. After teaching for thirty years at Southeastern Louisiana University, he now lives,… More about Tim Gautreaux