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Tell us what you thought about the April 2009 issue!

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Post April 14, 2009, 04:24:39 PM

Blue Sky

This brought to mind the poem by Dylan Thomas - "Do not go gentle into that good night..." And yet, go we must, sometimes long before it should be time to do so.
There's a Nordic tale about a woman who refused to cry when her husband was killed in battle. The women of the village brought his severed head in to her, and laid it in her lap. Only then could she cry and thus begin to heal. This story may illustrate that portion of time between the actual loss and the beginning of the process, and the necessity to be open to the process.
The majority of marriages cannot survive the loss of a child. This is true even in the animal kingdom (of which mankind is definately a part).
The writing itself was easy to understand and straightforward, in spite of the topic. I can understand why the author won a prize in a literature contest. I wouldn't really consider this a fantasy piece - more likely a literature piece.
It was, overall, an unexpected and welcome change of pace.

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Post April 15, 2009, 12:24:00 PM

Here we have psychological tale that shows the un-rest and anxiety that can be associated with a death of a loved one. But there is much more to it than just despondency.

The Lilliputian referred to suggests guilt, possibly. Intense guilt bubbling up and generated by an act that Osmond had control over, but he neglected his responsibility . Or so the story infers.

The grim mental state that he and his wife share are painted by good use of words that show their grief and the hell that has become their universe. Good techniques are employed so that we may enter into their hell, and see how feelings can control us!! Showing is used, and in this story it really worked. Just imagine if this story were told! All the effect would be lost!!! Narration was used when only needed.

As I said before, we have a psychological tale pointing towards an intellectual read that might be enjoyed by Edgar Allen Poe fans.

All through the story, Zach is seen and reference to by Osmond and Jeanie. Usually, it’s a ghost, but in this story I think the image of Zach is something else.

Towards the end of the story, Osmonds is shopping in a grocery store. A lady comes up and talks to Zach who is in a child’s seat in the shopping cart, I presume. Zach disappears before the lady’s eyes when Osmond’s attention is disrupted by her voice!! And we have a reference to the Lilliputian again. Zach might have been a projection from Osmond’s mind! If that is the case, then it is a very nice twist, much more believable than the old classic ghost. Unless ghosts are just mental images projected by one’s mind.

The ending with Jeanie presented many possibilities. Jeanie traded herself of Zach. She disappears, and Zach becomes whole again! But is it death, transfiguration, or dimensional shifts that take place with Jeanie?

Quite a nice read with real thought-provoking scenes that parallels reality but also introduces a supernatural scene at the end.

A nice dark, eerie read that I enjoyed. :D
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Post April 15, 2009, 02:14:55 PM

Blue Sky

Interesting that you should mention Poe - I was thinking how the death of someone close could be like Madeline Usher - supposedly buried in a shallow tomb, waiting for the opportunity to throw off the casket lid, claw its way out of the depths of our subconscience, find our ego and tear it limb from limb, until our sorrow drags us into madness.
The phase in the story "a ghost father, pushing a ghost son" sums it up for me.
The story could have had many alternative endings - perhaps all three of the characters might have actually been killed - they were just spending time on earth until they figured it out. OR the little boy might have said, "Say goodbye to mommy - I just said 'hello' to her".
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Post April 25, 2009, 12:45:04 AM

Some nice comments. I appreciate them. To be honest, I didn't think this was one of my better efforts. I was struggling with my writing at the time. Words were not flowing. I was too tired mentally from work and life. So I'm glad some folks enjoyed it.

Orginally, the story started with Osmond and Zach at the park. Osmond skipped work and took Zach out of daycare to enjoy a "blue sky holiday". When Osmond's back was turned, Zach was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The themes are responsibility, sacrifice, and redemption. Only when Osmond finally is forced to accept responsibility does he call forth Zach to reality. Only then can Jeannie's sacrifice be fully realized. Only then can he redeem himself.

Stylistically, the story was written to be "fragile", not only with word usage, but how the plot unfolds. In "Being There" with Peter Sellers, the movie threatens to break down at any point. Reality is stretched, but it works because the director and actors manage to stay at the cusp throughout. There is a beautiful tension because of this, and when the main characters walks on water at the end of the movie, it is uplifting rather than unbelievable. I don't think I managed my story as well, but the movie inspired me to work at the edge.

As an aside, I'm going to plug to my work in the previous month. I would appreciate some comments for The Door of Renown. Normally, I don't push my own stories in the forum. However, it is a Mare Inebrium story, so I'd like for Dan's universe to get some much deserved attention.
"Even the straight arrow needs a crooked bow."
- Samani


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