Literature 12-22-2008

miniStories: “Maybe It Tastes Like Sugar” by Amber Courteau

This little tale by Amber Courteau, selected as a miniStories winner by novelist Michael Kimball, cuts to the quick with a keen-edged poignancy rendered all the more potent by the story's brevity.

Amber Courteau

Maybe It Tastes Like Sugar

I know what you should do. You should give me a lift up to that shelf, the second from the top, next to the china cup with purple flowers. Maybe they are lavender. I am sharp. You should take a photograph. You should take off my boots and curl this curl around your finger, and tuck it behind my ear; it will fall out to spite you. You should tell me to keep every book. I’m giving them all away. You should not stay buried. You should pick up any rock that’s shaped like a heart. And give it to my mom. You should always ask me to dance. You should keep looking when I look away. You should stay close to caring. Keep it in your pocket. I am always. You should run up these stairs and fall out of breath, next to my ear, and tell me everything you saw today.

And you should start with the sun rising. It is new. A hash of clouds. I am grateful.

About the author: Amber Courteau was born in Minneapolis in 1983. She is the eldest of four children, and she attended the University of Minnesota. As a native, she follows the weather forecast and checks her rounded vowels at the door. With hope, she predicts her stories will be read in kindly places and high altitudes. With heart, she maintains an online haunt at