The main character of the short story “Parole” by Mathieu Cailler is the unnamed narrator. He is seventy-one and has been recently released from prison, where he has spent the last forty years, after getting drunk one night and shooting a young clerk at a liquor store.
Before going to prison, the narrator lived with his girlfriend, Carrie, who was pregnant with their son, Louis. Neither Carrie nor Louis visited the narrator in prison, although the narrator wrote several letters to Louis, referring to him as “Baby Lou”.
The narrator has a weak heart, which his son inherits, as he dies of a heart attack at forty, shortly before the narrator comes looking for him.
The narrator believes that he has wasted his life because of an impu...