Sample of “The Illusion of Swing” from EMPTY ROOMS LONELY COUNTRIES

Every other Wednesday, I will post a small sample from each short story from Empty Rooms Lonely Countries. If you want more information and don’t mind spoilers, you can click the commentary link below to learn more about the story itself. This week’s story is from “The Illusion of Swing”. I hope you enjoy it.


           I walk up to a brunette with green eyes and without saying a word, my right hand is on her back, just below her left shoulder blade, and her hand is in mine, and we are moving to the music. Our individual dramas have become one and for this moment in time, we are not ourselves; we are not even human, but instead, we are a part of something beautiful and mysterious, something that the outside world can no longer provide. I feel so alive, with the energy I used to carry with me as a child, that I am spinning and dipping her without any thought to the potential consequences. In this world, there is no pain, no tears, only laughter and fireworks.

      I am suddenly a god; we are all gods here. I am powerful and omniscient; so all knowing, in fact, that I suddenly believe that all I have been taught is a lie.

      Gravity is a lie. And to prove this, I pick this wonderful woman up over my head and I spin and spin and spin, laughing until my stomach hurts and my arms turn into taffy, and then I feel her falling, falling, and her descent doesn’t seem to register in my god-like state. And when I hear her screaming, and the thud of her body hitting the table behind me, I believe this is her way of expressing the magnitude of the grace that she is feeling likewise.

To read the commentary for this story, click here.
To buy the book, click here


About Christian A. Dumais

Christian A. Dumais is an American writer, humorist and public speaker living in Wrocław, Poland. He has published fiction, journalism, and academic articles in several magazines and journals such as GUD, Shock Totem and Ha!Art. His first collection of short stories, Empty Rooms Lonely Countries, was published in 2009. He also created, edited, and contributed to Cover Stories, a euphictional anthology of 100 stories inspired by songs, which was published in 2010. His most recent book is SMASHED: The Life and Tweets of Drunk Hulk.

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