“The Genie” by Teresa Milbrodt (on PANK Magazine)

I went scuba diving this morning for stories.

A crab playing with an urchin
A crab playing with an urchin, like “The Genie”

Usually I have a browser full of windows full of tabs open on my laptop, my working laptop. There are tabs with articles about time, about how our universe is a hologram, about the FBI’s organizational structure, about Marconi Beach (all of these are related). There are tabs for story or book submissions, prospective iPhone apps (we’re hanging a bunch of pictures right now, Hang-A-Pic is one I haven’t pulled the trigger on yet but may still). Neck and back exercises, teaching credentials sites. And, most optimistically, online fiction magazines with short stories queued up.

But I usually get to those last tabs, well, last, if ever, closing them or losing them in some browser crash and a tiny little flame inside me gets blown out. This is perhaps being a little dramatic.

So anyway, this morning I was reading Lyndsey Reese’s article on Ploughshares entitled “The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Entity” by Mira Mattar

I enjoyed “Entity,” it was fine. [Disclaimer: Not quite for kids.] But it prompted a browse around PANK, itself. Now, the last week or so I’ve been shopping around a series of short stories, trying to find a home for these quirky little vignettes. They’re about past lives, men living up people’s nostrils, people in graves with grudges, flying llamas. So I’ve been looking for the right outlets. While “Entity” wasn’t quite in the same vein, some of PANK’s books were, and then I found this little gem:

The Genie,” by Teresa Milbrodt

This is a really well-done, enjoyable story about a couple with different dreams going through a divorce, when one of them meets a Genie.

It’s like I found a tiger shark dancing with a sea urchin and a sea monkey on my morning dive.