Beautiful Error by Stuart Cormie


Tell us what you thought about the February 2018 issue!

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Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

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Post February 24, 2018, 10:19:23 PM

Beautiful Error by Stuart Cormie

The intro works; gets one’s attention and hold one’s interest.

A story in which two friends venture into an old atomic test site. They ignore the warning sign and don’t call in for permission to enter. An aborigine finds them and tells them that they have made a big mistake. She also like the beer they have and drinks some.

The story follows what a nuclear test site years afterwards might be like. A monster storm--- a life force generated by the nuclear testing--- chases Ash and his friend. They wreck the Toyota Land Cruiser because they are drunk.

Noora the aborigine finds Rich alive and sits beside him as they talk. She indicates that sometime a difference can be for the better. I believe she doesn’t harm him, in fact she keep him as a mate or possibly a pet. The story can be interpreted different ways as to the ending. Noora might be the storm but now shifted back into human like form.

Nice story. The old atomic test site stories were common in the nineteen fifties, and many sci-fi movies of that time had their setting on one of the atolls used for testing in the South Pacific. It’s nice to see a story revisit the old theme of yesteryear, and I wish more writers would venture into stories about the aftereffects of nuclear testing. Let’s face it. Those atolls are still there!
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Post February 28, 2018, 05:31:01 AM

Re: Beautiful Error by Stuart Cormie

Hey @Megawatts, thanks so much for this thoughtful commentary!

The story was developed from an entry I submitted for the December Flash Fiction competition here on 'urban legends'. I'm glad you picked up on the ambiguity of the ending, because that was something I did strive to achieve (perhaps reflecting my internal discomfort with matters supernatural!).

At one extreme, the outcome could have been entirely natural - the van crashing because of Ash's addled state, both lads eventually succumbing to their injuries, the van being covered over in time, Noora spinning yarns about the effects of the testing - but at the other, maybe the tests *did* produce something new..... I know at the time of writing I was all too aware of the utterly symbiotic relationship the Aborigines there had developed with the land, developed over tens of thousands of years. Perhaps the radiation had simply led to a physical manifestation of that interconnection ....? The reader can decide ;-)

You mentioned Rich's fate, and I must admit I hadn't considered that open situation.... We can only hope that, being the good guy out of the two, he didn't fare too badly.

Master Critic

Posts: 856

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Johnstown, Pa.

Post February 28, 2018, 11:10:43 AM

Re: Beautiful Error by Stuart Cormie

I attempted to read and critique all the stories this month, and I must say I did rush a little. I forgot to add that you did a very good job with this one.
Thanks for the read!!

Aphelion is a little inactive now, so I intend to contribute more each month. It's too good of a sci-fi site to let dormant.
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