“Tacos Callejeros” by Kenneth Hinegardner

Magazine Review by Katy Haas

There’s a fine selection of short fiction in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Concho River Review. Among them is the five-page “Tacos Callejeros” by Kenneth Hinegardner.

In this story, Steven observes a mother and her two children at a restaurant. The children misbehave as he eats and watches their behavior, and he ends up taking a liking to their mother, Melanie. Between these observations are passages about watching a dog fight on a past trip to Tijuana. As we read, it becomes clear Steven is not a caring and concerned individual, but is closer to a dog, its teeth around another dog’s throat.

Hinegardner writes with a slow build to the end, writing with precision and subtlety. The final character in this story, Ruben, acts the reader’s place, recognizing this part of Steven that is slowly revealed across the pages in this chilling, short piece.

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