The Heavens Weep for Us

and Other Stories

by Thelma T. Reyna

The Heavens Weep for Us

The Heavens Weep for Us

and Other Stories

by Thelma T. Reyna

Published Aug 13, 2009
189 Pages
Genre: FICTION / Short Stories (single author)


Book Details

Advance Praise for

The Heavens Weep for Us and Other Stories

By Thelma T. Reyna

“Thelma Reyna’s stories are excellent. While they are often filled with pain, they speak to the human spirit,not as some larger-than-life powerful force, but as something vulnerable,

precious, delicate, and yet persevering.”--Famed author,Robin D. G. Kelley, Ph.D., from the Introduction to this book.

“In this engaging debut collection, Thelma Reyna introduces us to ordinary people whose stories resonate with universal truths. Reading her stories is like opening a gift, evoking both pleasure and surprise.”--Rose Guilbault, author of the book, Farmworker’s Daughter.


Book Excerpt

Trivialities have immense power. Centuries of floods and storms wear away mammoth cliffs and mountains, shrink icebergs, carve canyons from granite. Friendly, gurgling water shrinks large rocks into small, smooth pebbles glistening timidly in clear creek waters. People marvel at the mega power of the smoothest rivers, the clearest rains, the softest snow as they transform giants into flattened beds and plateaus, as they, over time, work their wills upon innocent features of this planet and reinvent these captive co-inhabitants. How can such strength be beaten down, beaten flat, beaten small?

Paula and Robert’s marriage faded similarly. Habits anesthetized passions. Trivialities overcame important moments until the wearing away was the main event, not a catastrophe to fear.

There were moments of possible retrieval.

Paula saw the look her friend gave Robert that first time. She saw Robert brush his fingers against the woman’s hip as they sat down to dinner at Paula and Robert’s house that night. Robert was quieter at the dinner table, distracted, avoiding their friend’s eyes. “Their surrogate sister,” they called her. They both loved her like that, had come to trust her and welcome her presence into their home day or night.

Then the persistent forces of nature began the wearing. Clichés explained how their marriage was flattening: the late nights at work, the couple’s transformation into strangers, the superficial conversations, hollow but ongoing. But just as predictability marks nature’s work, clichés are clichés because of their predictable imposition into life’s moments.

Paula had opportunities to stop the erosion. Robert did, too. But they plodded through their daily lives unconsciously, perhaps with hope that what was happening wasn’t really happening, perhaps with faith that their early bonds could withstand the washing away, perhaps with resignation that love suffers thus, that their love was still there somewhere, hidden as it was buffeted about. Richie was a testament to their bond, a mutual focus of devotion. Richie was the small tether in their separate revolutions in space. (Excerpt from the story, "Comatose.")


About the Author

Thelma T. Reyna

Thelma T. Reyna was born in Kingsville, Texas, and resides in Pasadena, California. She received a Ph.D. from University of California, Los Angeles, and teaches part-time at California State University, Los Angeles. She has also taught at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Dr. Reyna’s poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction have been published in various literary journals, books, textbooks, and periodicals.