The screams made me open my eyes. I was still standing at the start of the corridor. It was quiet. I couldn’t see the end. But I had to get there with my eyes closed. Ma said I will hear strange voices. Crying, screaming, insulting, begging for help. Ignore, she had said. They are just wretched souls yearning for release from earth. Sounds simple. I close my eyes again. The screams are louder now. I start walking to reach the end. But I can feel someone walking behind me trying to touch me. I shrug it off and run.
Keeping in synch with my theme of ‘Discover’, when @uncannyMagazine asked for reviewers, I jumped in without thinking. The editor, Lynne, immediately sent me a soft copy of the magazine. I am so glad I decided to do this review. The magazine has been very different from what I normally read. The magazine has a set of short stories, non-fiction essays, poems and author interviews. It is also of the genre fantasy/YA and everything in between. It is also stories from and about the LGBTQ world.
I must admit, it was everything I never read. But thanks to this magazine, I promise to not shy away from similar content. I read some amazing short stories and poems. I wish I could write like them.
Let me start with the cover. It is simply magical. It is beautiful and attracts interest. The magazine tells me that it is done by award-winning cover artist John Picacio. It sets the tone for the magazine.
Bodies Stacked like Firewood by Sam J. Miller
The story is about Cyd who has committed suicide. Cyd was in love with the narrator. But, in the narrator’s own words, ‘Both locked our hearts up tight’. This simple statement tells the crux of the story. The words create vivid images. Cyd and his eccentricities are clearly brought out in the initial few words. He seemed to have a lot of friends or followers. The have created Cyd Cards in his memory which contain quotes said by Cyd. His parents think he is weird. Cyd wants his body to be burnt as he had a lifelong fascination for fire. His parents don’t seem to be aware of this and have the body sent for funeral preparations. No one understood Cyd like the narrator. I loved the way everything is told through the narrator’s eyes. He is also discovering many aspects of Cyd just like the reader. The story has a parallel layer comparing with The Great Gatsby. The writing is superb and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this short story. I wanted to immediately tell the writer that I loved this story, and I did via twitter. All the artifacts have contact details of the authors.
Monster Girls don’t cry by A.Merc.Rustad :
Again a beautiful story with a great message. It talks about monster girls who have weird features like horns, wings, lips in their palms. They try to blend in with society by sawing off the horns which keep on growing, trimming the wings. It is a bloody activity and painful. The monster girl, Phoebe, is unable to understand what is wrong with her. Yet, she tries to blend in. Her sister Maria has more grotesque features which doesn’t help her to blend in and as a result stays locked in her home. It is a beautiful story when Phoebe finally realises that she need not blend in. It is an allegorical story with deep insights. Well told. There is also an interview with A. Merc Rustad in the end where she talks about this story. I am a fan now.
Goddess, Worm By Cassandra Khaw :
In this story, the author uses the SilkWorm which dies to create Silk which is so coveted by all. The worm is trying to win her case. She doesn’t want to transform. She just wants to be as she is, but the others who think they know better, do not agree. On the contrary, they tell her that she is being elevated as it means more silkworms to be raised. I loved the way this story is structured by putting points one, two, three. Sample this,
‘Just feeling a bit dizzy,’ she said without looking up. She knew he would follow her.
‘Why can’t we get married?’ she asked through her tears.
‘You know, we can’t,’ he said, his mouth set grim hearing her ask this the umpteenth time.
‘B..but it doesn’t matter. So what if you don’t have a job. You can work for Papa. and.. and you can help him run the business. It doesn’t matter.’
‘It does. To me. Life is not as simple and rosy. You will hate me then,’ he said quietly.
How to participate in #FridayFotoFiction Every Thursday we’ll give you a photo prompt Follow @twinklingtina & @Mayuri6 on Twitter and wait for the prompt Write a 100 Word story relevant to the photo prompt Use the badge at the end of your posts Link up with Tina or Mayuri