All Stories, Literally Reruns

Literally Reruns – The Violin He Played Downstairs by Ashlie Allen

Leila has chosen a  dark and disturbing piece this time. Get yourself a whisky, make sure all the doors are locked and have a look at this one:

You don’t go to Ashlie Allen Literary Estate looking for a good time. The sun doesn’t come out much there, and when it does it only does so to make it easier for things to find you. Labels such as “Horror” or “Dark Fantasy” or even that dreadful “Speculative Fiction” doesn’t quite put a tentacle on Ms. Allen’s singular style. Although (as such happens in The Violin He Played Downstairs) little moments pop up and cause you to flinch, it’s the overall disturbing nature of her prose that makes everything she has published on the site special. I’ve said it before, but her stories are like having a stranger suddenly sit at your table and tell you a story you’d rather not hear but cannot resist.

Q: When the New Yorker published Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, the magazine and author were overwhelmed with “What’s it all about?” type of questions. In Jackson’s biography it states she found it amusing because there was no deeper meaning; the piece was written just as it came to her. I imagine that you go through the same thing. Although everything that happens in this piece is clearly explained, I can see where the incongruity of the denouement can frustrate literally minded readers who cannot let themselves go. Do you find yourself having to deal with “What’s it all about, Ashlie” questions?

Q: The MC is loyal to Abramo, even in the end. Do you believe that this stems more from curiosity than affection?

Q: Has having one person in three spell “Ashley” when they write to you help fuel the darkness inside?

Leila Allison

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The Violin He Played Downstairs

7 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – The Violin He Played Downstairs by Ashlie Allen”

  1. See, Mr Henson was paying attention. I thank him for it.
    Hmmmm, no Ashlie. Hope nothing from her dark subconscious got her. Oh, maybe that’s her….Um, no, just a lurking shadow…Gotta lot of characters like that down here in the vault.
    Well, if anyone sees her, let her know I waited … Not like to ever happen again.

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  2. I remember reading this when the story first appeared, I felt stunned by the sad madness of it all. I feel the sense of helpless self-destruction as he plays, I wonder why he didn’t set the house on fire.

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  3. Hi Leila,
    Nothing else I can add that James and Dave and you have already said.
    All of Ashlie’s work is worth a look and I hope that all is well with her and maybe we will ‘see’ her again one day.
    Hugh

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  4. Question 1:

    When the New Yorker published Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, the magazine and author were overwhelmed with “What’s it all about?” type of questions. In Jackson’s biography it states she found it amusing because there was no deeper meaning; the piece was written just as it came to her. I imagine that you go through the same thing. Although everything that happens in this piece is clearly explained, I can see where the incongruity of the denouement can frustrate literally minded readers who cannot let themselves go. Do you find yourself having to deal with “What’s it all about, Ashlie” questions?

    Answer: I haven’t been asked directly but I have a feeling that those who have read my work have been a bit confused by what’s really going on. I use a lot of visionary descriptions in writing but not really to describe what something looks like. It’s more to create a sense of horror or bring to life the darkness of my character’s minds. That is easy to be misunderstood sometimes.

    Question 2: The MC is loyal to Abramo, even in the end. Do you believe that this stems more from curiosity than affection?

    Answer: I believe both. The main character feels sorry for Abramo. He is curious about his suffering.

    Question 3: Has having one person in three spell “Ashley” when they write to you help fuel the darkness inside?

    Answer. Haha! My whole life everyone has spelled it wrong. Even now as an adult, I always get the, “I’ve never seen it spelled that way.” remark. Maybe it does silently fuel the darkness inside. If so, I can appreciate that. Bring on the darkness. 🙂

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    1. Dear Ashlie,
      It is my pleasure to read your remarks, and I thank you for them and for all the stories you have given us in the past. Hope to see more. There are thousands of Canadian Geese hanging around here, in the Pacific Northwest this week (must be on Spring Break). They are immense and have bad attitudes. Ducks and chickens are much nicer people.
      Leila Allison

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  5. Thanks so much for featuring my story on Literally Reruns! I deeply appreciate it. Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments. I apologize for the late response. I recently adopted 10 ducks and 39 chickens so my life has been a little crazy haha. I am still writing though and hope to send out work soon. Thanks again!

    Like

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