‘Alms’ by Stuart Dybek

Alms by Stuart Dybek, 2014

The magic trick:

Creating a martyr character to make a socio-economic point

D is for the Dybek.

This story is a crumb-dropper. You’ll get some clues, but that’s it. The story never sows up its images and ideas into a coherent resolution. Things happen, but it’s up to you to figure out what it all means.

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

The selection:

At the service elevator, which Mattie always used when she was pushing the chair, one of the men working on the building held the elevator door while Mattie wheeled in Mr. Kronner.

“Excuse us, sorry, thank you,” Mattie said as she accidentally rolled the chair over the man’s foot.

The man nodded, as if apologizing for not speaking because his mouth was full – he was chewing a sandwich. He squeezed on behind Mattie and the door closed.

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