Escape Routes by Naomi Ishiguro

Escape Routes

Naomi Ishiguro

I loved these surreal and quirky short stories. Naomi Ishiguro has the knack of making the dream-like seem remarkably normal and feasible.

When I arrived back on that particular rat-catching day, the sack containing the two palace beasts over my shoulder, I found myself appreciating my rooms to a greater extent than usual. I supposed that it must have been something to do with having had the opportunity of comparing them to the residence of a king, only to find I liked my own home far better, and I laughed aloud at that idea as I settled back into my humble, orderly home again. I ran my fingers over my workbench, with its neat lines of hammers and nails and pliers and saws and sandpaper, all stacked up in a most orderly arrangement. I surveyed the corner that served as my sleeping area, and continued to feel glad and so confident, so cheerful at being home, until I looked over towards the mirror and I found my mood turning almost melancholy to think that I was the only person there to appreciate all that perfection. Just myself and the rats. An enviable party.
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