Last week I clutched my iPad closely to my chest after reading the last words of “The Motel Room” by Alyssa Cooper. My eyes brimmed with tears, but I couldn’t let myself cry. It was a rainy day, and I was on the bus en route to one of my evening MBA classes. The atmosphere of gloom was the perfect setting for reading her short story. In twenty seven pages my emotions scurried back and forth between curiosity, frustration, impatience, heartbreak, and hope. It made me reflect on my own life, and on my own relationships. Had I been spending my lifetime wisely? No, I decided, and I hastily texted my SO (who was out of town) that I loved and missed him.
Alyssa’s concise and beautiful sentences are like brushstrokes, painting us an all too real portrait of the afterlife. I was drawn into the story and hooked by her descriptions:
His face is haggard and worn, his wrinkles get deeper as he purses his lips around the filter, lighting it with a match in his big knuckled hands… His inhale is long and slow, a build up, and the exhale is the release. I feel it all along with him, watching the smoke rise. The spell is broken after that first breath…
What I loved most was the vulnerability of the protagonist. It does not happen often enough that we see male characters in such an emotionally vulnerable state. Alyssa Cooper is definitely an author to keep an eye on. I look forward to reading what she publishes next!
Check out Alyssa’s blog for more information on her previous and upcoming publications.