"-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Frigg | Fall/Winter 2023/24 | Landlord | Scott Garson
artwork for Scott Garson's short story Landlord

Scott Garson

By terms of the lease, the basement was off-limits. The landlord stored things there. I was bored, however, and curious; turned out, I could pick a lock. Mirroring chairs were fit into the recesses of stacked boxes, next to rolled carpets and antique vending machines, with hoses and various bicycle wheels and doll heads and possum taxidermies and gas masks and golf shoes and traffic signs and painted clown-face pinball displays and issues of Consumer Reports from the 1980s cubbied in. All this was precise. It looked like our landlord had been on a show where the goal was to pack as much junk as you could in the least cubic space. Alternatively, it looked like a scheme of his brain, with surgical passageways drawn through the press of random horrors. His name was Gary. He dressed like a mannequin at Kohl’s and never said anything except to be polite. I tried to draw him into conversation so I could distinguish him from the neat psychotic ministrations of his secret basement work. No luck. I had to move out.

Scott Garson’s Comments

This one (along with “Show,” “Negotiation,” and “Cemetery”) is from a manuscript of microfictions which I finished last summer after a few years of on-again, off-again work. I think “Landlord” got written at about the half-way mark. It’s one of my personal favorites, maybe because of the voice and how it calls up, at least for me, more than the story technically holds. (Yes, it’s partly autobiographical.)

Table of Contents

Frigg: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 62 | Fall/Winter 2023/24