Spokane author Leyna Krow demonstrates a great deal of faith in her readers in her collection of short stories I’m Fine, But You Appear to Be Sinking, especially in her story, “Excitable Creatures”. In this second-person narrative, the reader is required to be open-minded to what is being told to them throughout the story, since it reads as though the events are happening to you, the reader. But what would the experience of a nonconformist reader look like within this story? Well, it may look like this:
“The animal sitting in your backyard is not a dog. It is also not a pig or a bear.”
I don’t see any animal in my backyard. What are you talking about?
“It has a wide, muscular body, a pushed-up nose, and big, sympathetic eyes. It looks at you like it wants something from you.”
Why would I approach this animal—that is not, in fact, in my backyard—and give it anything if I cannot identify it? You must think I’m crazy.
“You tentatively scratch at the top of its bulky head, which it allows. This is the most satisfying interaction you will have with another living being all day.”
So, you can tell the future? What a great mindset to enter into the day with, that I won’t, or even try to, have another meaningful and satisfying interaction with anyone else? You’re really putting me down here.
“Your yard has no fence. A row of trees separates you from your neighbor on one side and a shallow creek marks the boundary between your property and the woods.”
Okay, now that’s just creepy. How do you know this about my yard? Are you spying on me? Do you have cameras set up somewhere so you can watch my every move? This is lunacy, absolute lunacy. Next, you’re going to tell me that I adopt this odd creature and allow it to run wild throughout the community, taking cats hostage.
If you want to read more about Leyna Krow’s collection, here’s another review that talks about more of the stories in the collection: I’m Fine, But You Appear to Be Sinking Reviewed by John Baum. Here are also a few links on where to buy her book: Amazon, Barnes & Noble.