Challenge 345 Response
Is Ron Van Sweringen’s “The Icebox” a beginning or an ending of a larger story?
It’s both, and neither.
It’s the beginning of a larger story; because while the last line is solid enough that we don’t feel dissatisfied, it’s open. Anything could be attached to it and fit just fine. It could easily grow into a novel. It’s the beginning of a story about Bill and Johnny, or a story about Johnny by himself.
It’s the ending of a long story about Bill, which has a chapter or two about his sister, a chapter or two about his friends, his livelihood, places he goes and people he meets. It’s the ending of a story about a man whose life has narrowed down to nothing more than a ketchup bottle in the fridge.
It’s neither, because it’s the nexus point between the story of Bill’s life narrowing to a point of almost nothing, and the story of Johnny’s life after it intersects his uncle’s.
Copyright © 2009 by Crystalwizard
And does that mean that the “story” is actually a vignette? Most certainly. It’s a scene from a play that remains unwritten. This is one that got by me.