I don’t usually review short stories, but since this is one involves my all-time favorite author, I thought it was needed. Phoenix isn’t your usual short story either, there’s not really a positive conclusion, and it’s filled with the usual Palahniuk-esque vibes of breaking society’s “guidelines.” I could go further and further into the “inner meanings” of it, but to refrain from letting you all find your own meanings, I’m just going to place my summary here:
This short story in particular is written in third-person and it’s about two married individuals named Rachel and Ted. At first, the marriage seemed uncomplicated and loyal, but then it became clear that he loved his cat Belinda Carlisle more than Rachel. So much so that he wouldn’t get rid of the cat so they can sell the house… until he does. It’s not long before they realize that the house isn’t selling because the cat is still around, which meant they just had to do the only viable solution – they burned it to the ground. Then another obstacle came about, they had a daughter who was born blind, and their marriage just wasn’t the same. After everything, it just narrows down to – is all always fair in love and war? Or are Rachel and Ted going to continue to sit on the intersection between “I do” and “I’m damned.”
Although this short story was only 28 pages, it was a dark and twisty look at marriage and the issues behind it. Is the cat just a metaphor? Is this somehow an inner look at Invisible Monsters: Remix? Or was it just meant to be read alone… the world will never know.
After you read it, please let me know what you think! It’s a Kindle single, and I can’t find the link, but I’m sure it’s out there.