The Story Behind the Story: “Swing”

This story was the quick result of a confluence of weather and memory.

Our house, like any house my wife and I will ever own, is fronted by a long front porch upon which we spend a lot of our downtime. On this porch is a wicker porch swing. One afternoon during this summer’s heat wave while relaxing on the porch, my wife and I noticed the swing swaying lightly. This led to the recollection from more than twenty years ago, when our daughter (who begins graduate school this fall) was only two, was being pushed by me on a swing hanging on another front porch. I might have had (this is where my memory and my wife’s diverge slightly) had a beer or two that day. Despite warnings from my wife not to let our daughter fall off the swing, she did exactly that. Fortunately, our daughter merely was shocked but unharmed, unlike the child in this story.

From time to time I think about how lucky I was that my daughter did not get seriously injured that day and this story reflects my two decades of self-loathing about the incident. Today, my wife and daughter enjoy retelling the story of that day with a modicum of amusement. I, however, always cringe.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Featured Fiction New Fiction The Story Behind the Story
Sort by


The house is too silent. Garland stands at the screen door staring across the dry, fallow front field. It’s hot o
2017-03-20 21:19:01


“Symptoms and Remedies”

I try to interpret the signs of my own body, and think back to a medieval literature class I took in which we
2019-09-30 11:05:53


“A Proper Fight”

Meena remembered once seeing a girl in a movie suck on a guy’s bloody knuckles after a fight. The girl had brushed h
2019-09-25 21:03:41



Through the seventeenth century, Europeans believed ringing church bells would
2019-09-06 23:43:12


“The Colors of Pain”

“Gut pain’s always the worst,” says the medic. I could tell him he’s right, but I want to keep my pain p
2019-09-02 10:58:28


“There is Always So Much”

What we did that summer: we hung around torn-down barns and took photos of each other with that old camera and
2019-08-30 23:41:29



I. They stand side by side facing a row of dining room cabinets. Audrey examines each one carefully, looking
2019-08-21 09:36:14


“Baby Lanes”

“Excuse me. I’m over here in the lane next to you and noticed you’re bowling very well tonight.” “That’s quite
2019-08-07 09:34:00


“There is Always So Much”

What we did that summer: we hung around torn-down barns and took photos of each other with that old camera and
2019-07-29 23:33:44


The Story Behind the Story: “Baby Lanes”

To pursue my Ph.D., I moved from the Midwest to a small, southern Mississippi town. I was worried that I might find
2019-06-24 09:34:21


Ray Morrison

About Ray Morrison

Ray Morrison spent most of his childhood in Brooklyn, NY and Washington, DC but headed south after college to earn his degree in veterinary medicine and he hasn’t looked north since. He has happily settled in Winston-Salem, NC with his wife and three children where, when he is not writing short stories, he ministers to the needs of dogs, cats and rodents. His debut collection of short stories, “In a World of Small Truths” (Press 53), was released in November, 2012. His fiction has appeared in Ecotone, Beloit Fiction Journal, StorySouth, FictionSoutheast, Carve Magazine, Night Train, Word Riot, and others. He can be reached at