A Fragment for Father

[ Read this in Dutch ]

short fantasy story

Her father weaves worlds with his stories. His fans worship him. She doesn’t; his weavings have caused her nothing but pain. At his 75th birthday party, in one of his own word-worlds, will she finally confront him?

Publication history

Reviews

In this beautifully crafted tale, 25-year-old Sandy is invited to celebrate her father’s birthday. To find him, she must navigate through a fantastical world he has turned into reality through his writing; a talent he alone appears to have.

Growing up in ever-changing fantasy worlds, Sandy hates anything fictional. When she arrives at her father’s castle and finds no entrance, she understands the trick being played on her. In order to enter, she must write her way in, thereby proving she has inherited her father’s gift.

The plot is simple but layered with tragic emotions. During a particularly painful birthday party, Sandy’s father makes an innocent statement that forever ruins birthdays for her. Sadly, he thinks he’s helping, but obsession with his writing and inattention to his daughter are obvious.

For me, Kleijne’s beautiful descriptions are what make the story special. He uses every sense, never in excess, but just enough to bring life to the setting. His description of Sandy’s snowbound traverse to her father’s castle almost made me shiver.

There’s a huge amount packed into this 1700-word story. And it has a perfect ending.