Fiction | December 01, 2003

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For hours now Dobrin has been begging Stassi to stop it, shut up, are you trying to make her mad? “Put those down,” he hisses, whispering, though his mother lags too far behind to hear.

“A Good Boy” by Cynthia Morrison Phoel

Featured as an Editor’s Pick, Sept. 11, 2008:

A troubled teen is the focus of Cynthia Morrison Phoel’s “A Good Boy,” published in TMR Volume 26, number 3.  We follow Dobrin, the young man struggling with his parents’ silence. Ever since his father purchased a satellite dish instead of saving money to heat their home, Dobrin’s mother has refused to speak to her husband. Dobrin stands by as his father gets drawn into the dish’s allure, and together they watch beautiful girls dancing on late-night television. These scenes are particularly haunting, as Dobrin envisions his mother in the next room, such a contrast from the lascivious women that populate the television screen. Set in Bulgaria, the story explores poverty, marital issues, and one boy’s attempt to become a man despite his father’s shortcomings. Phoel’s work has recently appeared in the Spring 2008 issue.

— Brittany Barr

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