Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Short Story Monday - Fragile Things

I know this is Tuesday, but I fell asleep last night before I could write the blog about the stories I read.
First, The Fairy Reel, a poem. It has interesting ideas - split souls, that happens when one hears the Fairy Reel, and the heart stolen as they steal your breath - a cautionary poem, a warning about fairies. And the poet is right - they are dangerous, as well as tantalizing. I can't say I like this poem, though it is beautiful - just like a fairy.
Next, Closing Time. My favourite, of last night, and possibly of all the stories I've read so far. It's a ghost story, and creepy. I will never look at playhouses outside again in quite the same way. This is a very good story, and deservedly was placed in 'Best of the Year' anthologies.
Last, The Hidden Chamber. Another poem, and also very creepy. It is based on Bluebeard, and empty houses, and hidden rooms, and ghosts of those who went before. It is very unsettling, capturing the obsessiveness and unwillingness to let go of the wife-killer (or at least Bluebeard's version), and playing upon the word 'chamber'. That's all I'm going to say, except, you'll have to read it for yourself!
The story that still haunts me most though, is 'The Problem of Susan". It haunts me because it rings true, at least to me it does. this is how Susan would turn out, I think, at odd times of the day or night. I don't often have one story reappear in my thoughts two weeks after reading it, so this story has something for me that I need to work out!
I am enjoying this book very much.


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