We recently published T. L. Sherwood’s heartfelt “The Thinnest of Veneers.”

Here, we ask her two questions about her story:


1) One of the things I love about this story is that we know so much about this relationship just from the small bit of detail you have given us, how ephemeral it is, how fleeting, how secret. Do you think there is any chance of a connection for them that is more lasting?

Thank you for the lovely compliment – and these questions. More lasting? I would like to think so. I’m a sucker for happily ever after endings, even if they take a long time to pan out. If whatever arrangement they have now doesn’t last, one of them could certainly use the love to spawn a short story. Or a novel. Maybe a painting or a building. I think that’s the thing about love, it spreads out in unexpected ways.  


2) I like that the narrator’s instinct is to call this person when they see the double rainbow — it’s such a real and human moment, to want to share something special like that with someone you love. Do you think the other person saw this double rainbow, too, and thought of the narrator? Or is this moment for the narrator alone?

I really don’t know if they also saw it, but I’ll guess no. The other person is not there so maybe they are at work or the dentist’s office and wouldn’t be able to see the sky. When I wrote this as a response to a Kim Chinquee prompt, what originally came to mind was my neighbor Lisa across the street. She called to tell me about a rainbow in our backyard. It was a vibrant arc against a yellowing sky. I didn’t know Lisa well then and now I never will. She divorced the man who still lives in that house, then she got cancer and passed away. I think of her kindness that day whenever I see a rainbow in my backyard (and that divorce is rotten, and cancer is evil) and how it has lived on for so long inside of me. I don’t think the moment or the event was only for the narrator — if so, they wouldn’t have thought to tell someone else. Double rainbows are uncommon, but love and the desire to share beauty with those you care about is not, which is the great thing about being human, especially in these politically polarized Covid times.