This short story is only subtly a fantasy, though sufficiently so to merit its inclusion in this magazine. The most dramatic and compelling aspect of this story is the relationships between the main character and his parents, and the cultural clashes inherent in those relationships. While the fantasy element propels the story forward, this element could easily have been replaced with something less mystical and still the heart and warmth, as well as the loneliness and coldness, of this story would remain intact.
Die-hard fantasy and science fiction fans who want none of the artistry and craftsmanship of literary fiction probably won’t care for this story. But if you enjoy a blending of art, magic, culture, and humanity, then this story is definitely worthy of your time. Just be prepared for a little heartbreak along the way. Not all stories have to end happily to be wholly satisfying; in fact, a little sadness can’t make a story wholly genuine.