7 thoughts on “She Said Destroy – Nadia Bulkin


    I wondered if the Dignitas organisation being based near Zurich is significant (see Zurichia in this story) … and earlier today I read and reviewed here ‘The Head’ by Reggie Oliver about ‘assisted dying’. I often have a sense of things-meant-to-be when Gestalt real-time reviewing books. This story itself is a conceptually staggering as well as deeply poignant vision of what I shall call Resisted Dying – where humans hang about in various states of dying, Bleeders and Benigns, with mixed emotions of ridding oneself of them or desperately keeping them close, as we have spotlighted here a family where one girl’s small sister hangs on and maybe, with mixed emotions, She Said Destroy? The family eventually faces a plague of, not mindless Zombies, but unique entities-with-original-selves, entities that surely exist somewhere in this our fast-changing world, entities I could not possibly have conceptualised on my own.

  2. And When She Was Bad

    “He is, after all, the monster.”

    A very powerful and unusual take on the Beauty and Beast theme, where the human condition itself is transmuted between them, amid a massacre of the human beings around them. She said destroy again. A wing and a prayer. I would just compare the circumstances of the Bleeders on the roofs in the previous story with the winged monster in this one. It would spoil it if I say more about a work that really requires to be read raw.

    As an aside, I somehow thought it significant that I read this Bulkin story today straight after reading TAWNY from (again!) the book in my previously linked simultaneous review above. There is a line in that story: ‘There are bits of baby all over the bloody nursery.’ Another hybrid monster, in a possible more humorous human massacre…

  3. Only Unity Saves the Damned

    “The entire town had grown up with the same story about a witch who aborted babies back when the town was still being sculpted raw out of the rolling prairie, and they all knew the matching nursery rhyme as sure as they knew Happy Birthday—“

    The tale of some wild group of characterised youths skipping stones at Goose Lake; they take a film of the witch by a tree that goes viral online and elsewhere, but was it real or was it fabricated by them? And did the tree move? Or break our skin with its bark? Much more to this story than that and there is some beautiful writing. But it did not work for me as anything as special as the previous stories in this book.


    “…I thought to myself that the pattern read like some kind of message. But I don’t know what. I never figured out what.”

    The pattern of parallel differences and similarities between this book and the one I am concurrently reading and reviewing. Linked already twice before above, linked again in last few hours. There, Baskerville’s Midgets in an old boarding house; here, Pugelbones in the Warren. The Warren in this wonderful body-incubating story, a story wherein today a mother is being interviewed whether her self-admitted breaking of things as a girl in the Warren extended to what cruelty to others she blames on the Pugelbones. I am inspired by the darkly evocative vision of the Warren or hive of crammed humanity with their loose or stray bones that become Pugelbones as creatures in their own right… and I am still working on understanding the dystopian didacticism of state control over her that prevailed thereafter.

  5. Red Goat, Black Goat

    “—these were fat, gentle livestock, happy to spend their lives in a backyard enclosure before being sold off to butcheries.”

    The last bit is retrocausal…changing what was said before.
    Another Indonesian story, one that chilled me to the roots of my hindsight hoofsteps tiptoeing towards death. My wordplay sometimes in my reviews should not reflect back on the compliments otherwise embodied in them. It is just my way. The baby-sitter finds the children already have a baby-sitter that the children acknowledge more than they do the real baby-sitter – and their original baby-sitter is the Goat-Nurse. And the latter, as if to avenge the more gentle goats in the area, makes inimical things happen to the children, but without affecting their confidence in the Goat-Nurse, and there is the most engulfing frights to all involved that radiate backwards into the story. A bit like being inwardly and outwardly swaddled by Pugelbones. So, if it not too late to do so, read this story first! Some swooping and weaving of goatfur, a teasing and worrying of threads into a sense of being read yourself by something – after having read about it first. Resisted dying, back goat, read goat. Destroy she said.

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