Alabama Funeral

Kristen Iskandrian

This coming Saturday—July 24th—is the deadline for our remote Writer’s Workshop with Kristen Iskandrian. Apply now to secure your place in this Workshop on the theme of ‘Building Memorable Characters.’ Exclusive for Studio readers, we’re presenting her story “Alabama Funeral” from Issue 118, which received a Notable in this year’s Best American Short Stories

The sitter arrived with a Ziploc bag of brightly colored string. “For friendship bracelets,” she said, one eye veering off. “Yes,” Bette said. The sitter’s eye was particularly lazy today; Bette had never gotten used to it, although she herself, when extra tired, had an eye prone to drifting. Bette was aware that she could be, in a multitude of ways, a perfect hypocrite. She was named after Bette Midler, which had always embarrassed her, so she told people she was named after Bette Davis. “So it’s ‘Betty’?” people would ask, and then she’d have to correct them, and they’d
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