SST Presents A. E. Coppard

Hello, readers!

This is the first official post in the “SST Presents” series, so named because that’s the tittle of the weekly Short Story Thursdays dispatch. If you want to know about SST or how this series came to be, check out the introductory post I wrote last week.

Broadsheet Ballad

by A. E. Coppard

This week’s story revolves around two men who go into a tavern for dinner, but it starts raining while they eat and they decide to wait it out with beer. As the room dims and cools they get to talking about this guy who’s about to get hanged. Did he do it? Did he not? One of them pipes up with a story about murder and pregnancy and general thrills in a small town. And I can’t help, but think of small towns here, of gossip in general.

That characteristic “did you hear what happened to….?”. The small gasp, the sudden lighting of the eyes, the do tell and please, go on as people gather tidbits of other’s lives. And sometimes it doesn’t even matter whether you know the person or not, you trust it to be true because it happened to someone in their family or to a friend or perhaps a friend’s family member. Even through the degrees of separation there’s still that small bit of titillation at being privy to someone else’s secrets.

Reading this story is a bit like that. The surprise at finding out what he did, the shocked gasp when you realize what she did. And in the end you lean back and think, “man, people do some crazy shit”.

Have a good one, readers.

If you’re interested in subscribing to Short Story Thursdays, send an email to Jacob Tomsky at

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