‘If It Keeps On Raining’ by Jon McGregor

If It Keeps On Raining by Jon McGregor, 2010

The magic trick:

Building a character portrait through the revelation of his insecurities and paranoid concerns 

A BBC National Short Story Award finalist for 2010, “If It Keeps On Raining” puts us in the mind and thoughts of a man, who as far as we know, wakes up every morning, walks outside, and urinates onto the stone path that leads from his front door to the river.

His thoughts wander, his imagination rich with detail but also tied closely to his own insecurities and paranoia. It’s this last part – his insecurities and paranoia – that really are the key to the story. They reveal themselves slowly at first, eventually building a psychological profile of the man.

And that’s quite a trick on McGregor’s part.

The selection:

He thinks about this a lot. But, who knows. It doesn’t seem worth dwelling on. It seems an unlikely thing to need to consider, the proper procedure in such an event. But it’s not an entirely unlikely occurrence. It happens. It has happened. People fall in the water, and they disappear, and they reappear drowned. It’s not impossible. It’s a thing that can happen.

Perhaps that’s why the men on the barges don’t wave. Because they’re concentrating. They know about the things that can happen. They take the river seriously.

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s