Here we are at Week 190.
Not much nonsense or pish from me today guys, we have a wee treat. Diane will explain.
I am not that good at explaining, I tend to confuse rather than make anything clearer. It all started in a church in 1990. I didn’t explain myself very well and Gwen has suffered ever since!
‘I do’ / ‘I don’t’… it’s an easy mistake to make.
Come to think of it, she made the same mistake! Hah! She deserves all she got.
There are certain things that you should never do drunk. Whenever you think you have a great idea after fifteen haufs, I can assure you, it isn’t. That Minister should never have let me in!
Anyhow, I’ll do the review of this weeks stories and then I’ll hand it over to Diane.
We had four new writers and a valued friend of the site.
Our topics this week include; trust and ‘progress’, beneficial cannibalism, sleep talking, madness and a correspondence.
As always our initial comments follow.
First up we had Doug Hawley. Doug is a regular commentator and he is also the author of six inventive and imaginative stories.
‘Trigger‘ was published on Monday.
‘There was something about the character and his bad luck that I enjoyed.’
‘The voice was consistent all the way through.’
‘I enjoyed that he was always the victim.’
To all our new authors, we welcome then and we hope that they have a long association with us.
Gina Yates was our first newbie.
‘Dead Man’s Hand‘ was next up on Tuesday.
‘The images were beautiful and Gina hit on the possibilities of youth.’
‘There is a lovely atmosphere in this.’
‘An excellent sense of place throughout.’
On Wednesday we had Ahron Balatti with his debute, ‘Dan.’
‘The repetition strengthens the revelation.’
‘A brilliant ending that has stayed with me.’
(n.b. this story has been removed at the request of the author)
Ran Walker was published on Thursday. His first story was entitled, ‘The Salvatore Grant.‘
‘His compliance is beautifully balanced against his want and need.’
‘Interesting and entertaining.’
‘Original but relevant.’
And we finished off on Friday with Jack Caulfield’s short ‘A Noise A House Makes On Its Own.’
‘Sad but a hopeful ending.’
It’s been good over these last couple of weeks to mix it up of a weekend, it makes life interesting!
OK folks, over to Diane…
We are aware that some of our submissions come from authors who are writing in a second language. While we are huge admirers of these writers, it has to be said that sometimes the fact that they are working in a second language renders the stories non-publishable. This is by no means always the case and in fact we have found some short fiction that is, in some way, enhanced by what would normally be unusual word choices or vocabulary usage. So, we always have a look with an open mind and do our best to approve those pieces.
However, recently we had an author who asked if we could consider a work that was written in French. Unfortunately, none of us are sufficiently confident to be able to read, consider and edit pieces in any foreign language, and there would, I think, be only a few of our regular readers who would be able to read and enjoy such a story and we had to decline.
This author was not to be so easily dissuaded and with the help of Mr Google-translate, his own knowledge of English and autocorrect on his computer he was able to submit the piece in English.
We were mightily impressed I have to say. Firstly that he refused to be discouraged, secondly that Mr Google-translate (who let’s face it can be a bit flaky at times) was able to do such a fine job.
We could have taken the work and interfered with it and polished it up. But, we decided it was smooth enough for us to show you just exactly what can be done with modern technology and determination.
It has to be acknowledged of course that, for this to work, the writing had to be very good as a starting point. So, for your reading pleasure we present:
A Night by Jahunda
She holds me by my hand and pulls me along the small trail. I follow without thinking. The evening is murky and gloomy for clouds cast ugly shadows, hiding the last light as best as they can. We advance without trouble through the forest towards a spiritual place. From there we hope to see the spectacle we are searching for on this magical night in the somber forest. The hairs of my girlfriend, normally red, have a grey, morbid look. The trees along the road are watching us, spitefully but stoically while we pass. I feel restless and stressed, adrenaline flowing through my veins. Dark settles in and the moon will appear fully within the hour. We must hurry to be on time to our secret hiding spot. Nobody can know what we are going to do because it is very dangerous. The threat of vampires and spirits in the woods is terrifying. A stinking smell of the moor is filling our noses. The mist cuts our sight and surrounds us, soaking our clothes slowly. Cold drops touch my skin. The road is marked by crosses every few meters, a road protected by prayers and proclamations that the priest casts here every day. Many crosses are damaged, dirty and scratched by the demonic attacks. We see a broken cross lying across the road, blocking our path. Moira, my beautiful redhead simply jumps over but I hesitate. “Are you afraid?” She says mockingly as a smile sets on her red lips. I am indeed afraid, but this challenge, I cannot ignore. A girl will not be more courageous than me!
The road zig-zags and rises. My flashlight creates satanic shadows all around and the cold sweat is on my forehead. Finally, we arrive at our destination that gives us an interesting view. An open plain in the forest, as big as a few football fields with a lake in the center. The mist is not as thick here as before. A circle of monoliths is just on our side of the lake and we can see about twelve shades, dancing around a fire in the center of the monoliths. We can hear them sing incantations and curses. We are covered by the bushes but are lying just a little higher than the field in front of us giving us a great sight over the field. The moon starts projecting its rays through the cracks in the clouds and into the fog. We are expecting a werewolf that has been told to appear here at a full moon. Nobody has seen him, only heard his howling. We would be the first to discover the truth. The fog starts to thin out so the rays of the moon come out to the fullest and reflect on the lake.
Suddenly the howling of the werewolf sounds over the plain. The sound of the animal is inhuman, monstrous even, and would make even the bravest shake. What a stupid idea to come here. I tremble and have to vomit and cry at the same time. My stomach turns and I taste blood. The smells around me are unbearable. At the fire, the shades have turned into bats and scatter as quick as their wings can carry the vampires to safer havens. Here, the werewolf rules the woods. My girlfriend cries and I feel ill. Moira looks at me, her eyes wide with fear, shaking everywhere, chocked and immobilized. “Run” I say under my breath, panting heavily trying to flee from her before the reality of the situation fully sinks in and my transformation, my metamorphosis to werewolf is complete.
I awake, damp with sweat. Next to me lies Moira in bed, the blankets red.
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