Deal Me In Story #1: The Man Upstairs by Ray Bradbury

Deal Me In Challenge 2018 October Country

I’m excited to start a new year of reading short stories for the Deal Me In Short Story Challenge. Last year’s challenge was very successful except for one thing: I only reviewed a few of the short stories I read. This year I’m going to try and write about all of them, even if only briefly. That way I’ll remember them better when it comes time to review the anthologies they’re in. I always read my stories on Sundays, but I’m anxious to get started so I began a little early this year.

Card Drawn: 2♥

Anthology: The October Country by Ray Bradbury

Story: “The Man Upstairs,” 1943

I’m so glad to get the year started off with Ray Bradbury, one of my favorite authors. And he did not disappoint. “The Man Upstairs” is vintage Bradbury — an inquisitive boy, a strange tenant, odd behavior, and Bradbury’s wonderful prose. For example:

It was a wonder when Grandma brandished silver shakers over the bird, supposedly sprinkling showers of mummy-dust and pulverized Indian bones, muttering mystical verses under her toothless breath.

And:

The straw hat lay brittle and terrible upon the bed, the umbrella leaned stiff against one wall like a dead bat with dark moist wings folded.

Who is this stranger that has come to board at Douglas’ house? Why does he bring his own eating utensils? Why does he only carry copper money?

This macabre tale has everything I love in Ray Bradbury’s writing and it makes me eager to read the rest of the stories in The October Country.

My Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑✩

By the way, there’s still plenty of time to sign up for the challenge, so head on over to Jay’s sign up post if you’re interested.

Deacon Nick

Nick Senger is a husband, a father of four, a Roman Catholic deacon and a Catholic school teacher, vice principal and technology coordinator. He taught junior high literature and writing for over 25 years, and has been a Catholic school educator since 1990. In 2001 he was named a Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the National Catholic Education Association.

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