Maggie Light’s Short Story “Quitter Takes All” Published In Cleaver Magazine

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Highly regarded LAS English faculty, Maggie Light has just published a short story titled Quitter Takes All in the Fall edition of the independent literary periodical, CleaverThe full version of this charming short story can be found here:

Enjoy an excerpt of this short story, below:

She sings and pedals and passes her mother. Oh yes. Macbeth is ripe for the shaking. Beth passes Michael, rings her goddamned bike bell, then turns to stick out her tongue at this oppressive pair, but Michael gains on her. Her mother gains on her. She’s out of breath and hears no more battle cries. Just the harsh words from that critic to pedal through. She slogs, slows, skids her feet on the grass and kicks the kickstand down with her flip-flop. It’s over. She quits. An all encompassing quit. There’s a clap of thunder and pellets of rain to emphasize this, the end of Beth’s life.

Only, it doesn’t end. The flight back to New Jersey takes off as scheduled. Coasts sans turbulence.

 “So, what’s your game plan?” Michael has taken the middle seat as a courtesy. 

He opens a pack of those shortbread cookies with the raspberry goo stamped in the center and they erupt all over his tray, the airplane carpet, Beth’s sneaker.

“You’re going to sulk? That it? Bad review. New weird stepdad. No turning the frown upside down?”

“Michael,” her mother says, pained but not looking away from the window of white air.

“You think that’s the way to play when your chips are down? You gotta roll with the punches.”

“What does that even mean? Roll with punches?” Beth says. “If I’m punched, my jaw breaks. I can’t enunciate.”

Michael eats a cookie that had fallen on the ground. “You’re splitting hairs,” he says, yellow crumbs flying from his lips.

“I think that critic was on to something. You’re a closed book. A clam. You don’t look at us. Don’t speak to anyone. Not even that flight attendant when she asked if you wanted a snack pack.” 

“Yeah. I know. You’re right.”

“You don’t think I’m right. You’re trying to get me to shut up.”

“Yeah. I know. You’re right.”


Visit this link to read the full version of Maggie Light’s short story, Quitter Takes All