One Story Issue #264: Molly Gutman’s “Extraordinary Miraculous”

One of my favorite characters in our new issue, Molly Gutman’s “Extraordinary Miraculous,” is named Um. Another is named Hoo, and another, Eeag! (exclamation point included). But my favorite character has no name at all, no qualifying features, no import—and that character is the narrator.

At once sounding like a formal voiceover in a nature documentary and a concerned, helpless spectator, this narrator invites you to swoop in and observe a family that feels familiar yet is unlike any you’ve encountered before.

It can’t have been easy, living in the Pleistocene some million-plus years ago. The raising of children went hand-in-hand with the battle for survival. The ones who ate were the ones who didn’t get eaten. The ones who rested overnight and managed to survive were the ones who adapted and got lucky.

I’ve never read anything like “Extraordinary Miraculous.” In fact, when I first finished it, I sat back, pages in hand, and tried to wrap my head around how Molly Gutman had accomplished what she had; then, without getting up from my chair, I started back at the first sentence and read the story again. I’m still not sure how she did it. We hope you enjoy this odd and compelling short story as much as we did. If you get the urge to sleep in trees while reading it, keep your eyes down, not up. The stars are beautiful, but what lurks below is hungry.

3 thoughts on “One Story Issue #264: Molly Gutman’s “Extraordinary Miraculous”

  1. Just read “Extraordinary Miraculous,” and the title could be a review of the story itself. This is one crazy-good story, Molly Gutman. I am going to read it again. I was taken to another world.

  2. Pingback: Short Story Recommendation, Week of 5.18.2020 - Oscilloscope Literary Magazine

  3. “Here is the point, at risk of otherwise losing it: there is beauty in patterns and the lack of them. One single gene out of place can bring a whole wave of new population; one rogue wave comes crashing, and out go so many lights.”

    Nailed it, thank you!

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