Zoetrope: All-Story is a finalist for the 2020 ASME Award for Fiction, the highest honor due an American periodical, for the stories “The Grotesques” by Sarah Hall and “24, Alhaji Williams Street” by ’Pemi Aguda...
Cate Le Bon
NEWS & EVENTS
The Short Fiction Competition is open for entries! Guest judge Téa Obreht will award the prizes, and the deadline is October 1. We’d be thrilled for the introduction to your work, so enter now!
FROM THE ARCHIVE
It’s Not You
Hotels were different in those days. You could smoke in them. The rooms had bathtubs, where you could also smoke. You didn’t need a credit card or identification, though you might be made to sign the register, so later the private detective—just like that, we’re in a black-and-white movie, though I speak only of the long-ago days of 1993—could track you down. Maybe you anticipated the private detective, and used an assumed name.
Nobody was looking for me. I didn’t use an assumed name, though I wasn’t myself. I’d had my heart broken, or so I thought, I’d been shattered in a collision with a man, or so I thought, and I went to the fabled pink hotel just outside the Midwestern town where I lived. The Narcissus Hotel: it sat on the edge of a lake and admired its own reflection. Behind, a pantomime lake, an amoebic swimming pool, now drained, empty lounge chairs all around. January 1: cold . . .