‘Two’ by Rey Armenteros

— Melissa Mesku

Yes, it is very much like a recipe; it is a recipe for making a bomb. The kitchen is a donut shop. Here are the ingredients.

Three poems by some guy. Two stories by so-and-so. Why do editors publish writers’ work in sets? If a story is any good, it should stand on its own. Just because poems are short doesn’t mean we need more of them. And the title—it ends up nothing but a number, like these two pieces, simply listed as ‘Two by Rey Armenteros.’ Two what? Two poems? Two essays?

As it turns out it’s two flash fictions, and they’re incredible. Taken alone, each is an achievement. But perhaps because they’re nothing alike, they’re even better together. What they do have in common is Armenteros’ deceptively straightforward style, a prose which masks the visceral delight and devastation to come.

What also masks it is having a number instead of a title. ‘Two’ is a lot to sign up for when you don’t know what you’re getting. But given the strength of the work Rabid Oak has been putting out lately, there’s no question, I’ll take two.

Rabid Oak