A Short Story For Saturday

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 31 2015 @ 3:22pm

Given this week’s weather, Tobias Wolff’s “Hunters in the Snow” seemed like a timely selection – though of course the story isn’t really about snow. Here’s how it begins:

Tub had been waiting for an hour in the falling snow. He paced the sidewalk to keep warm and stuck his head out over the curb whenever he saw lights approaching. One driver stopped for him but before Tub could wave the man on he saw the rifle on Tub’s back and hit the gas. The tires spun on the ice. The fall of snow thickened. Tub stood below the overhang of a building. Across the road the clouds whitened just above the rooftops, and the street lights went out. He shifted the rifle strap to his other shoulder. The whiteness seeped up the sky.

A truck slid around the corner, horn blaring, rear end sashaying. Tub moved to the sidewalk and held up his hand. The truck jumped the curb and kept coming, half on the street and half on the sidewalk. It wasn’t slowing down at all. Tub stood for a moment, still holding up his hand, then jumped back. His rifle slipped off his shoulder and clattered on the ice, a sandwich fell out of his pocket. He ran for the steps of the building. Another sandwich and a package of cookies tumbled onto the new snow. He made the steps and looked back.

Read the rest here. More of Wolff’s short fiction can be found in Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories. Peruse previous SSFSs here. Update from a reader:

I see a none-too-subtle South Park reference in today’s short story. I mean, it’s The Dish and one of the main guys is Kenny. Of course he’s fucked.