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! 

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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’.

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The full context of this review: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2021/10/06/nightscript-7/

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