Petaluma Gothic by Bob Canning

by Barb Goffman

62/366 from The Crime Festival 2005, edited by Nicole Smith (published by Cape Fear Crime Festival, 2005).

Read March 17, 2012. (I had to take a little break. So much for a story every single day for a year. But I’m back, and I’m going to keep plugging along.)

This story opens with a man sitting in his attic, going through old family belongings that he’d hidden up there after his wife had tried to throw them away. He’s sentimental. She’s a bitch. As the story unfolds, we see that he’s old, and maybe everything he sees isn’t quite there. Or maybe it is, on another plane. Or maybe he’s just reliving memories. Or maybe he’s delusional. It’s hard to describe what happens without giving things away. It’s an interesting story. A good read. This story took second place in the 2005 Cape Fear Crime Festival short story contest.