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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 365

Touching Semblance

  1. At the end of Bertil Falk’s “Apocalypse for a Dissociated Creator,” Carolus Brainflower emerges to pose the question of theodicy and challenges the Creator to explain why good and evil coexist. Of course, Brainflower receives no reply. Why not?

  2. In John Stocks’ “Ethie McLean,” what is the significance of the contrast between the Vogue photos and the story of Ethie McLean?

  3. In Marina J. Neary’s “Midwinter Elegy”:

    1. What are the “two plaster beads”?
    2. What is in the “orange pill bottle”?
    3. What is the “secret of her malady”?
  4. In Anna Ruiz’ “Two Movements, One Design,” what is the effect of the repetition of “thinking” in the second stanza?

  5. In Clarise Samuels’ “The Edict of Vilnius,” how are the mice both as human and more human than human beings?

  6. In Ron Van Sweringen’s “A Warm Heart,” how would the tone of the story change:

    1. if the old man found another animal in need that was not a kitten?
    2. if the old man did not have a picture of the Last Supper as a religious icon?
  7. In Joanna M. Weston’s “The Wreath”:

    1. Why is Beth-Ann so attached to the old house?
    2. At the end, she goes on a fugue. Is it literal, i.e. a time warp, or is it a hallucination?
    3. Why is Beth-Ann so alienated from her parents that she prefers the house to her family?

Responses welcome!

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