Life in Wisconsin
Scary fantastic brutal story. Every sentence sharp as a razor. The obsessive reliance on counting is a terrific device. it's like a metronome of Cheryl's despair; her inner life's a ticking timebomb that both controls her and separates her from reality through the story. At the end, you don't know if her defiance in opening all the curtains is a way to invite more misery/numbness, as her self-mutilation is, or if it is her first step at confrontation as a way to liberate herself.
Thanks, Kass, for reading and for your comments! I still really like this character, Cheryl, and every time I read this story, I'm taken back to the time I lived in Illinois, my inspiration for the story/characters.