The Wellman Twins by Mary Robison, 1983
The magic trick:
Making a focused but not overbearing point
This is a sweet, brief character study. A pair of twins – recent graduates of the University of Rhode Island – talking, arguing, joking, bonding, arguing some more. They may look the same, but in most other ways, they are different. Bluey, the boy, is sheltered, while his sister, Greer, is a bit more adventurous.
Everything in the story, especially as you look back over it, points in this direction. It’s unified but not overbearing.
And that’s quite a trick on Robison’s part.
An hour later, when Bluey went to the living room, Deuce was allowing his haunches to be used as a pillow for Greer’s head. They were on the sofa. Both drunk, Bluey decided.
“Good,” he said. “Savor the fruits of your labor. I’m jealous, I guess. Not about the money, but I can’t believe the nerve it must take to stand up and perform in front of a live audience. Courage, I mean. Real people who can react, good or bad, right there to your face. Did you give Deuce some Mumm’s?”
“Oui,” Greer said.
“Congratulations on the sixty-seven dollars, anyway,” Bluey said.
“Who’s this different person from an hour ago, Deuce? Do we know this guy?” Greer asked the dog.
“I like your clothes, too. I like those fatigue pants,” Bluey said.
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.