Short Stories 366:183 — “Knit One, Purl Two,” by Carolyn Charron

coverI love tales that juggle tones. Or, I suppose in keeping with the narrative I’m going to discuss, I should say knitting tones. In “Knit One, Purl Two,” we meet Maggie, a woman who knits as therapy (arthritis), has a keen wit, is mourning a major loss, and has just realized the fellow she rented her basement to—and has been inviting to her bed—is a vampire.

It’s because of the wooden knitting needles (easier on her hands) and the man’s reaction to them (horror at the sight of wood sharp pokey things) that she realizes exactly what’s going on, and from there, the story shifts back and forth between two tones: the serious reality facing Maggie and her mourning state, and the tongue-in-cheek and honestly quite charming and fun dilemma of facing down the vampire fellow about his nondisclosure about the whole, y’know, blood-sucking thing.

Like all the tales in Nothing Without Us, the representation of Maggie as someone with a chronic condition just is. The story is about her, and her predicament of intimacy with a vampire, and Charron centres the tale accordingly. Moreover, what Charron decides to do with the vampiric lore is clever and fresh, and the ultimate destination is smile-inducing (and, once again, knits the serious-and-cheeky tone into a nice whole).

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