"The Search for Eric Garcia," by E.A. Aymar, in Midnight Hour, a Chilling Anthology of Crime Fiction From 20 Authors of Color, edited by Abby L. Vandiver, Crooked Lane Books, 2021
I am not a big fan of stories told in the second person, as I have mentioned the, um, four other times one of them has made it onto this page. But Aymar makes this one work very well.
You're sitting at the bar, thinking about choices.
The protagonist's life is going down the tubes. His daughter died in an accident that he feels responsible for, although the authorities disagreed.
His wife is living with Eric Garcia, who owns the store where our hero works. Eric is everything he is not: a confident, successful man. And our protagonist feels that the world isn't big enough to hold both of them.
This is a very clever story, one where the telling is as essential as the plot. I do think it has some rough edges. If I were the editor I would have asked Aymar to polish a few of them harder. But this is a terrific piece of work.