Thursday, 11 September 2008

Short Story September: October's Chair by Neil Gaiman

I love Neil Gaiman so I was expecting to love this story and I did, it's really a story within a story.

The month's of the year have all been personified, with their various personalities and appearances linked to the month they represent. They met reguarly as a council to tell short stories, and this month it is October's turn to lead the meeting. Their actually turns out to be a lack of stories, and a fair bit of squabbling, and then you get to October's gorgeously told short story.

Runt, is as you may have guessed from his name, the youngest, skinniest and most bullied child in the family, and generally doesn't quite seem to fit in anywhere. As life moves on Runt dreams of running away, and accumulates all the items he deems necessary in a tubberware container: Mars Bars, Beef Jerky and 30 odd dolars. When he pulls out the tub one day and realises it is full, he knows that this is the day that he has to run away, to try and make a new life for himself. Despite all his dreams of freedom, Runt has little belief that he will last much longer than a day without being found, but he makes a run for it anyway.

Arriving in a new town, Runt meets a young boy called 'Dearly', this boy knows that he once had another name, yet it is so rubed away he can no longer read it. Runt has no apparent problem with meeting and hanging out with a ghost, they spend the night having fun and enjoying each others company. When it comes to time to part, Runt asks if he can stay with Dearly for good, Dearly points him in the direction of an old and derelict house, saying that in that place they could make that dream come true.

This story was told really well, and would make an excellent read for any short story lover. I found a copy of this story in Gaiman's short story collection, Fargile Things.


C. B. James said...

I love the cartoon. Is that from the story? I'll have a new set of links posted on my blog early next week. Thanks for participating.

Nymeth said...

I love this story. I'm glad you did too!

katrina said...

the cartoon is from a different story, but I loved it and couldn't find one that linked to the story

Memory said...

I recently listened to this as an audio file, read by Gaiman himself, and think it makes a wonderful read-aloud story, too.

Anonymous said...

The picture is from the Sandman, but I don't know which issue.