Here’s Anna’s commentary on my oldest and best-loved science fiction story:
When I’m approached by writers new to the craft or readers looking for an example of well-written flash fiction, time and again, “Beholder” by Sarah Grey is the story I recommend.
There are no world-ending catastrophes or serial killers lurking beneath the stairs. But some stories don’t need to jump up and down to get our attention. Sarah Grey’s “Beholder” is a small, quiet story – technically strong, beautiful in its prose, and focused on the smallest of details.
The resonance in this story never fails to knock me on my heels. “Beholder” works, not because our emotions are skillfully manipulated, leaving us feeling used and cheap, but because we recognize the genuineness of a mother’s love – a small, anonymous act of kindness to a stranger.
I dare you to read “Beholder” aloud and not be moved.