One of the things I love about the written word is that, when well crafted, it is the closest we can come with current technology to actually getting inside someone else’s head and feeling what they’re feeling. Well-crafted stories do that to you—they pull you in and make you swap places with the protagonist. You can smell the smells, hear the sounds, and feel the way they feel.It’s always exciting to find literature that does this, which is why we are thrilled to present M. Behr‘s “My First Trip to the Mental Hospital” as our story for September 2017. Without pretext or preparation, Behr plunks the reader directly into the middle of the action, and we immediately feel the weight of the situation in which the protagonist finds herself. This story has its own gravity, and we’re quickly pulled into its orbit to breathlessly circle and watch the narrative unfold until we’re ultimately released by the final words.
Behr’s “My First Trip to the Mental Hospital” is a heavy ride into the sideways world of mental health. But Behr doesn’t wallow in that. Instead, Behr uses this situation to explore the emotions related to the situation itself, and in doing so, allows the reader a direct glimpse into the protagonist’s reality and her soul.
Join us next month for one more story before Empty Sink goes on indefinite hiatus. You won’t want to miss this one—think Chuck Palahniuk meets Ringling Bros.
—E. Branden Hart, Executive Editor—9/1/2017