Winter Legs Give Me Heart Attacks




Salyers, Matthew

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis collects a series of short stories that deal with the despondency and isolation of plain characters in their fantastic worlds. The plainness of these characters is not in their normalcy, but in perhaps their lack of one or more of the following: love, connectivity, compassion. And these fantastic worlds are only fantastic in their ruthless nature, in their unsettling sense of heart in despair. The stories in this collection circle around the fractured elements of the modern American family, as told by the members of these families that never felt like they belonged. Or maybe they belong the most? In twenty-three stories, there is brevity to the construction of these worlds, as the standard conventions of prose are pulled out like a game of Operation – trying ever so hard to not touch the metal edges of the wounds. There are children who lie, others who kill each other, and others who merely hold their breath. There are parents who jump off bridges, give up too easily, or never try at all. And then there are all the people in between who are searching for a connection but have trouble even connecting with themselves.



Microfiction, Death, Surrealism, Mental disorders, Family, Experimental fiction