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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 504

All In at the Turn

  1. In Charles C. Coles’ “That Damned Creak”:

    1. Is the story really about an annoying noise? What annoyances — or worse — do the narrator and his friend Banjo tell of?
    2. How does the interpretation of the tree noises as “The Colonel Bogey March” from the film The Bridge on the River Kwai summarize the narrator’s and Banjo’s father’s tribulations? How might “That Damned Creak” relate to the earlier story “Symptoms of a New Age”?
    3. The title is a double pun. Is there anything in the story that might suggest that a “dammed creek” is a symbol of the narrator’s emotional frustration?

  2. In Matthew T. Acheson’s “The Turning”:

    1. The four deals in Texas Hold ’Em are called the “action,” “flop,” “turn” and “river.” What might the “turn” have to do with the title and conclusion of the story?
    2. What does Leonard’s apocalyptic vision have in common with the Big Game he plays with the “dark stranger”?
    3. Is the story really about space aliens, or is it about Leonard?
  3. In Mia Tijam’s “Talking to Juanito”:

    1. What are “Lolas” and “Lolos”?
    2. Ta can be a function word and a meaning word at the same time. What are its function and meaning? What does “Ta... ta...” seem to mean?
    3. Who are the “wrinkled people”?
    4. What is the “demonyo”?
    5. What is a “PSP”?
    6. Who or what is Anay?
    7. Who or what is Juanito?
  4. In Adam Bruce’s “Wake Up, Joe”:

    1. With how many people does Joe actually come into contact? What characterizes his contact with the person who is most like himself?
    2. What seems to annoy Joe or make him agitated?
    3. The suited man and the woman offer Joe freedom and new experiences. In what way do they act in the same way as whatever power has regimented Joe’s life so far?

Responses welcome!

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