Dumped: Four Stories by Molly Giles

Molly Giles

Bob and Betty

It was a good divorce. They each took one of the cars and one of the labradoodles; they divided the silver, antiques, and paintings, put the house up for sale, agreed to split the proceeds, and were shaking hands goodbye when they heard a musical tinkle from the garden. “Oh-oh,” she remembered, “my wind chimes.” “My wind chimes,” he corrected. They hurried across the lawn and reached for the chimes at the exact same moment; when she tripped him, he slugged her, when he slugged her, she bit him. The realtor found their bodies later, chimes twined around their throats.


Amy and George

They fell in love the minute they met. He divorced his wife and she divorced her husband and they ran off to Paris together. For three weeks they left their hotel room only to eat in elegant restaurants, drink champagne, and take long walks in the soft spring rain. Nestled in his arms, she said, “I have never been so happy.” He didn’t answer. She kissed his eyelids, ran her finger along the deep crease in his forehead. “What’s the matter?” she teased. “Aren’t you happy too?” “I would be,” he said, “if I just had someone to talk to.”


Anne and Paul

They lived on the same street, which was ideal, because they were both in their forties and they could see each other when they wanted and have their privacy when they wanted and anyway they were both so busy with their jobs and their friends and their children that it was good they didn’t smother each other, and this went on until the afternoon her gas line exploded and he phoned to say he’d noticed the ambulance outside her house as he drove past and would have stopped but he’d had a conference call to make and was she okay?


Tom and Gerthe

He had married the eccentric old heiress for money, so perhaps it served him right that for the next twenty years he had to wait on her hand and foot. When she finally died, her will stipulated that he would not get a single cent unless he returned her ashes to Munich, the place of her birth. Learning it was illegal to bring human ashes into Germany, he carefully baked them into a loaf of black bread, wrapped it, packed it, and when the plane landed he took a taxi to the river bank and fed her to the ducks.


Molly Giles has published four award-winning collections of stories: Rough Translations, which won The Flannery O’Connor Prize, the Boston Globe Award, and The Bay Area Book Reviewers’ Award; Creek Walk, which won The Small Press Best Fiction Award, the California Commonwealth Silver Medal for Fiction, and was a New York Times Notable Book; Bothered, which won the Split Oak Press Flash Fiction Award and, most recently, All The Wrong Places, which won the Spokane Prize for Fiction. She has also published a novel, Iron Shoes, which has won no prizes at all, and an ebook of stories, Three For The Road.

Photo credit: Richard Heyes

9 Responses to “Dumped: Four Stories by Molly Giles”

  1. Digby Beaumont says:


  2. Annika says:

    This was my favorite story, I was shocked and terrified of some of the endings, but that made it even better 🙂

  3. Lina Chern says:


  4. M.C. Neuda says:

    They’re all wonderful, but the best for me is “Tom and Gerthe.” I laughed out loud at that one. Thanks, Molly! I’ll be looking up your collections of stories!

  5. Joan Zumwalt says:

    I just read these four stories to my husband and we had a good laugh. Thanks.

  6. Jayne Martin says:

    Each is such a wonderful little jewel.

  7. owen says:

    I can easily imagine you reading these aloud. They are short and sweet and piquant and surprising — like bon bons you discover are laced with habanero extract after noticing your water glass is totally empty.

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