2014 – January 1 – The Miracle of Small Things

Monster image

Image from ErisBatt Gaming (Defiance video game)

“The Miracle of Small Things” by Guilie Castillo-Oriard kicks off the series.


“There’s no stillness like the stillness of Curacao on New Year’s Day. Pointless tropical sun on deserted asphalt, every business shuttered, everything forlorn… to Luis Villalobos it feels like the cold shoulder of the world.”

The story drops us into the personal mystery of Luis Villalobos, who has apparently made the career-killing mistake of sleeping with his boss at the New Year’s Eve party. We catch up with him during his walk of shame (well, drive of shame) as he slugs his way home, while lamenting that he’s going to have to return to Momma after this. Insult to injury comes in the form of discovering that he’s left his keys on the bedroom floor (not his, but the boss’) and must retrieve a spare from bougainvillea by the pool. Only there’s a monster in the backyard, wouldn’t you know.

The spare, clean prose and very personal perspective pulled me in so well that I did not want the story to end. The ending, when it did arrive, was absolutely perfect, resolving what I wanted resolved here, and opening the door for the next installment of this fascinating tale (February 1).

A wonderful way to kick things off. What do you think?

Share on Tumblr

About Stephen

I live in beautiful New Castle, Pennsylvania with fellow writer, Susan Urbanek Linville, and a herd of reformed feral cats.

Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to 2014 – January 1 – The Miracle of Small Things

  1. As a cat owner, i know that you can’t herd cats. What would be the proper word for a bunch of cats?

  2. Guilie says:

    I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that this first installment of Luis Villalobos’s story worked for you. Thank you for reading, and for this glowing review. I’ll be looking forward to comparing notes on the other stories in the volume with you as the month progresses. Happy new year!

  3. Nancy Aubel says:

    Cannot wait for the next one — love this! Drew me in.

  4. Simon Kewin says:

    Certainly a great start and an intriguing set-up. And a marvellous idea for a collection of stories.

    • Guilie says:

      Thanks, Simon! I’m so glad you found it intriguing. It *is* a great project, and I’m honored to be a part of it. Look forward to your thoughts on the other stories / months!

  5. susan tepper says:

    Love this story to start the year off at 2014 A Year In Stories ~

  6. Mandy says:

    I loved soaking in the rich atmosphere of this story and I’m quite fond of this Luis fellow (the dog sealed it).
    (oh, and I discovered Curacao is not just a liqueur!)

    • Guilie says:

      Mandy, I’m positive you’re not alone in this discovery–although CuraΓ§ao, the island, is also very blue πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you liked Luis. I was kind of ambivalent about him myself, but then–like you said–the dog clinched it πŸ˜€ Thanks for this comment!

  7. Michael Webb says:

    I absolutely loved this story. Can’t wait for more!

  8. susan tepper says:

    THEME SONG FOR THIS STORY: PUPPET MAN BY TOM JONES ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDjk6uTXKwg

  9. I love the opening sentence of this story — it’s a great way to kick off the series. A stillness, like the quiet before a storm of stories! And even if we’re not sure of Luis, we do feel something of a connection here at the end. Nice, subtle story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *