One great short story to read today: Senaa Ahmad’s “Let’s Play Dead”

Emily Temple

May 3, 2024, 10:30am

According to the powers that be (er, apparently according to Dan Wickett of the Emerging Writers Network), May is Short Story Month. To celebrate, for the second year in a row, the Literary Hub staff will be recommending a single short story, free* to read online, every (work) day of the month. Why not read along with us? Today, we recommend:

“Let’s Play Dead” by Senaa Ahmad

Surely the most absorbing—and, more importantly, deranged—take on the story of Anne Boleyn that you shall ever read. 

The story begins:

There was a man, let’s call him Henry VIII. There was his wife, let’s call her Anne B. Let’s give them a castle and make it nice. Let’s give her many boy babies but make them dead. Let’s give him a fussy way of being. Let’s make her smart and sneaky, because it’s such a mean thing to do.

Let’s make it so she can’t escape.

Let’s seal the bottle, and shake it, and shake until our hands fall off.

Read it here.

*If you hit a paywall, we recommend trying with a different/private/incognito browser (but listen, you didn’t hear it from us).

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