The twelve stories compromising Mel Bosworth’s chapbook, When the Cats Razzed the Chickens & other stories, elicit discomfort, awe, a few laughs, and as a writer, envy, often all within the same story. And though the length of some stories (often less than 100 words) belies the ability to contain such a swath of reactions, they do so consistently and impressively.The power with these stories, whether they aim to discomfort, awe, or humor is with Bosworth’s ability to distill an entire scene into a single, piercing line. In “Sometimes Conditional,” a father watches his son board a school bus, and as he cries, he sees “his [son’s:] entire being bend through the water that filled my eyes” (pg. 3). In “The Stumbling Conquistador,” a failed convenience store thief, after a conversation with the sympathetic store clerk, reflects, saying, “I pedaled up the street, shirt billowing in the breeze like sympathetic magic, inflating my self-worth. I pedaled up. I pedaled. Up” (pg. 18). These lines are perfect encapsulations of their respective stories, imbuing the entire collection with a sense of poignancy that may have remained untapped had these image “landmarks” not been peppered throughout.When the Cats Razzed the Chickens & other stories is quite honestly a tease, a hint of greatness to come.