Remember to Breathe

Although not directly connected with the next story, this photo is one I happened to take earlier this morning, without any forethought, and before first reading the story — a photo of a funeral parlour window, that turned out in hindsight to be remarkable, if oblique, collateral! 


BEWARE POSSIBLE SPOILERS, though, for me, it already worked even if with firm forethought.

The Summer King’s Day
by Timothy Granville

“The crown of wildflowers seemed a grotesque afterthought, a mockery like Christ’s crown.”

Alongside the ending of the previous story above, this was as great an afterthought as it was a hindsight…. A suspenseful story of a young couple and a toddler called Poppy, the latter learning to talk as well as walk. They seem to have booked a holiday in a place off the beaten track called Elveley, and are surprised, in fact at first slightly fearful, that an off-season day’s festival with rattling of pots and pans coincided with their visit. It centres around the eponymous King played by a tall man in a mask, who for me — via the words describing him and what is said about him by others, and his choice for quietness — actually succeeded in making me shudder. And also made the husband have one of his, what I deemed to be, asthmatic fits. The family later decide to cut their losses and on the same day leave the village for a trip to a wooded barrow in the area, whereby the hi-jinx chasing and hunting with Poppy insidiously merges with chitinous chirring and a flowery mound to mimic what had been buried — yes, with a chirring if not cheering! They had been foolhardy enough to break the festival’s bounds and to travel to leave Elveley on the day in question… Hindsight was never enough, I guess. Afterthought is ever being transcended by forethought, too. Earlier that day, you see, before their reaching the end of the story, there was for the wife … “a bluebottle still buzzing in a cobweb on the window frame, gathering the dusty mesh like a spool. She felt strange, apprehensive, as though there was something awful she had to face but she’d temporarily forgotten what.”
Remember — ‘remember to breathe’.


The full context of this review:

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