8 thoughts on “Supernatural Tales 37

  1. SLATTERGREN by C.M. Muller

    “It might have been a different story had then been an occasional passerby,…”

    …or something more integrated as the past than merely the splattergun of memories you are granted as you get old? The eponymous Agnes is retired, with the help of her busy daughter, to an establishment near the reservoir where she was brought up with her brother Anders. The now often wild environs have much altered, and she has some dreaded memory of losing her brother to the place in the distant past. Methodically narrated, but transcendent with parallel dreaming and mischievous real-time straying from the new establishment, we follow Agnes into a believable scenario of haunting catharsis. An experience we all share by different but equivalent means, one day, I guess. It’s just that, as I grow older, I incrementally sense that even with one very slight alteration, like Agnes’ missing passer-by, life’s eventual gestalt alters far more significantly. Like mine might be altered by chancing upon this story?

    “, secretly hoping to glimpse an approaching figure who might dissuade her from what she was about to do,…”

    My previous reviews of books connected to this author: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/tag/c-m-muller/

  2. CHILDREN’S CASTLES by Jeremy Schliewe

    “How could two common words when put together ring with such otherworldliness?”

    Or internal lava seem such an an emblem of love?
    Potentially a memorable classic in hindsight, it is an engaging, darkly charming, morbidly mortal, page-turning simplicity of a tale that engulfs you in its childhood’s haunting memory, not only a memory of one’s childhood itself (adventures, in the unexplored areas near houses, with peers and young crushes), a childhood or castle, too, that can hold spaces and things bigger than what contains them, a sort of retrocausal Whovianism as I sense all this happened before 1963. A blend of Sarban’s Calmahain and something that is personally bespoke for each reader, for each of your peers today grown into shapes and mindsets beyond the lava. That unreachable personal loss, as also instigated by the first story.

    “It broke my heart to.”

  3. THE FORWARDING AGENT by Mark Valentine

    “They had found fragments of what was surmised to be just an oscillum here, with the curves of an eye-shape, a corner of a mouth, the sliver of a brow.”

    Vintage Valentine, a textured, illuminary, eventually sinister classic, I am sure he would agree, if authors were allowed admission into reviews of their work. This story is as if an admission ticket itself to something wonderful, starting with a fascinating adumbration of the collecting of admission tickets, as an alternative to stamps and coins. Its rationale, even its irrationale, engaging and convincing enough. The aloneness of the conscientious traveller on tour, too, the trips to places at the side or edge of more popular places, the sense of the nigh-on-empty industrial estates made highly empathisable as places to wander and wonder at, where some minor museum may be found. I met a young man once in a shed who called it a museum. Sadly, I did not keep the admission ticket. (Nor did I keep the ticket to the museum shown in my sub-comment below. I now seriously wished I had!) Adumbration, too, of those who wave at you from motorway bridges. The compulsion to do more than just adumbrate such a phenomenon, but visit them, too, even more than once. It seems likely there will be a mask hanging or a broken wing mirror, or something even more personal? As I say, this is something haunting, something whimsical, something worth cherishing, something in the end being insidiously forwarded rather than having initiated what was first sent.

    My previous reviews of this author: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/john-howard-mark-valentine/

  4. I managed to get out of Fort Paull, with an exit ticket, and have now entered…

    LEOPARD SEALS by Chloe N. Clark

    “The key to contracts was understanding the flaws not necessarily in logic but in the opposite of logic, she thought.”

    A bit like the admission tickets in the previous story, and its forwarding agent of certain rules, 333 of them, and I try to get out of this tantalising, disarmingly engaging story’s contract by calling its author quite mad. Otherwise, I would have been drawn into story-sitting forever while its author went elsewhere, for me never to get out again. Here the flaws in the contract to be identified are really floors of an upmarket apartment block. And mirror images of self as well as of each side of one of the eponymous seals. Its cocktail parties and contractual rules that simply must be read, even for apartment-sitters such as Karynn. Trainee lawyer. Lithe as a scythe. Or was that someone else in the story? I got out eventually by deliberately skewing this now identifiable horror story and making its tenants even madder than the author who created them. I got out disguised as Karynn. You will know what I mean when you read it. Trouble is I am now beset day and night with nightmares about the sea.


    • PS: What is actually the Leopard Seal, or what I assume to be, with the name Marissa, is a creature in literature you will find hard to forget, from her two haunting appearances in the last story.

  5. Pingback: Slattergren | C.M. Muller

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