“The Child”

This week’s published piece is “The Child” by Laura van den Berg, from the literary magazine Gigantic. Laura van den Berg’s debut collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, was a Barnes & Noble ‘Discover Great New Writers’ selection and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her second collection of stories, The Isle of Youth, will be published  in November.

“The Child” is about a couple who have just moved into a house, haunted by the ghost of a child. They try to exorcise it…

  • How does the form of the story increase or decrease the tension?
  • The couple seems singularly unimpressed by the ghost in their house. Does this bring you into the story, or pull you out of it?
  • The ending is, like much good literary and horror, left to the imagination of the reader. What clues are there to tell you what the ending means? Is there foreshadowing?

Enjoy! As always, all comments are welcome.

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