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A Species of Setback Illustration by Genevieve Simms.

A Species of Setback

New fiction by Christopher Evans.


In a fit of maternal concern, Charlotte sat down and wrote two letters—one to her daughter, Samantha, and one to her daughter’s now ex-husband. The letter to Roger had been easy. She thanked him for his years of service as a son-in-law, wished him well, and said that she hoped he’d still make the drive out from Kamloops in the summer to help her re-shingle her roof. The letter to her daughter proved difficult. Charlotte danced around variations of I just want you to be happy, but struggled to find wording that Samantha would not find insulting. In the end, she wrote that she’d enjoyed Samantha’s recent stay and hoped she would return soon, and included a cheque to help her start her new life as a single thirty-five-year-old in Vancouver. She worried that even the cheque was a potential offense, so Charlotte decided ...

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