When you first pick up “The Good Word” by Yannick Murphy, I’m sure you will think the same thing I did: Hemingway. Yannick’s sentences are short and direct, and create the same kind of tension as Hemingway’s sparse prose. The situation also has echoes: two women travelers in a foreign country, who meet another tourist, a German, on their way to a vacation spot on the beach, and end up witnessing an old man wrestling with the final days of his masculinity. Although these elements feel like nods to the bearded master, from the first page Yannick makes this story entirely her own. The moment I read: “…the people all looked like they had been on the last bus and the chickens on their laps looked the same as the chickens who had been on the last bus,” I knew that this was something entirely new–a free-wheeling and excitingly fresh styling of words. Yannick’s writing sparkles with energy, and at the same time, she never allows the style to overwhelm the reader, or to distract from the wonderfully solid plot and characters. Read Yannick’s Q&A to find out more about how she crafted this story–and I do mean craft. “The Good Word” is everything we hoped an issue of One Story would be: a stand alone work of true art.