June 10, 2024

Sheree Winslow’s postcard micro, “CHRISTMAS MARKETS, STRASBOURG, FRANCE,” infused with precise details that invoke every sense, is a meditation on how memories persist and surface in the most unexpected moments.


Visiting Christmas Markets in eastern France was part of a final effort to save your relationship with your Parisian fiancé—a trip scheduled to ensure he didn’t spend time with his no-longer-hidden other lovers or some unsuspecting tourist he seduced at the Louvre the same way he snared you. But by the time you strolled through lots of wooden kiosks inhaling the smell of sweet Glühwein while inspecting crystal snowflakes hung from red ribbons or ball ornaments painted with landscapes of snow-covered trees and frozen lakes, he knew you knew. Your hurt, his anger at being found out—it was a toss-up which of your emotions would cast the bigger shadow on any given day. The last night in Strasbourg, he raged, insulted you, called you the stupid slut. All night long, you tossed and turned, knowing he wasn’t worth the abuse, thinking of ways to leave. You’d have to arrange a ride back to Paris but you had keys to the apartment, could swing by for the rest of your luggage before heading to the airport. Instead, when you got up at 6am and he criticized your cold shoulder, you told him he’d need to treat you better if he wanted a friendly morning greeting. All these tainted memories rush forward nearly seven years later when you’re in the shower applying Peace Rose Oil hair conditioner to your head. Somehow the description on a tube of product plucked from the clearance section of a discount store is all it takes to remember those days of no peace. A few days earlier, a gunman had killed four in Strasbourg at the Christmas Markets so your mind was mulling the surprise of viciousness in places constructed for joy. You rinse under a stream of hot water wringing these thoughts together, grateful that you weren’t shot when you visited, but also knowing bad memories should not be diminished by such low expectations. Expect more, you tell yourself. Expect more.

Given the name Many Trails Many Roads Woman by the medicine man of her Northern Cheyenne tribe, Sheree Winslow embraces a life of wonder and wander. She’s the recipient of a Chautauqua scholarship, the Submittable Eliza So fellowship, and awards in
Midway Journal’s flash prose contest and Beecher’s nonfiction contest. Other flash prose about travel and location have appeared in Brevity, River Teeth’s “Beautiful Things,” Passages North, and Storm Cellar, among others. Sheree lives in Southern California where she works as a writer at the University of California—Riverside. She received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year-round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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