The ending is the "money note" of the short story, as the critic Louis Menand says,
High C of the composition." Each of the eighteen stories in
WHATEVER HAPPENS, PROBABLY WILL reaches for that high note,
delivering an emotional impact that Edgar Allen Poe claimed was the
true purpose of the short form. T. D. Johnston, winner of the
International Book Award for Best Short Fiction and editor of this
collection - which also includes a number of award-winning stories - calls this "the singular effect."
Beginning from places familiar and real, these stories slip into the deeper end of the imagination on their way to
delivering, with attitude, on that promise of singular effect.
The slip may be air-brushed with a sly and teasing wink, as in "The
Closer," or it may come after a slow burn, as in "Three Buses,
Waiting." It may dangle until slashed across the end pages in bolder
strokes, as in "The Red Eye Home," or run head-long into a
gut-punch, as in "The Man Inside." And often the stories pivot on
those things which are whispered and unseen, the shadows which
haunt at the margins of the characters' lives - and our own.