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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 566

Live Letter

  1. In Sherman Smith’s Two Blind Men and a Fool:

    1. In “Don’t Count Elroy Out,” the porter finds neither Elroy nor Alex in the train compartment. What has happened to Alex? Why hasn’t the dead man’s widow come looking for her husband?
    2. In “Changes,” wouldn’t Henry have left a forwarding address or wouldn’t his friends have asked him for one, as a courtesy? What does it say about Gibby’s health that he does not think to tell the postman that the letter could be forwarded to Henry at the medical school? Who might have written the letter, and what is going to happen to it?

  2. Charles C. Cole’s “Independences” is, in effect, a one-scene play. If you were the director, how would you want Burchard and Senya to play their parts as the scene progresses?

  3. In Arthur Davis’ “The Curse of the Lighthouse,” does the narrator ever learn or surmise why the lighthouse might be haunted?

  4. In Julie Wornan’s “Anniversary Celebration”:

    1. What is the old married couple made of, since they lack so many vital organs? Why have they been surgically eviscerated?
    2. Why are there “homeless beggars” on the streets? Might they achieve relative wealth by selling body parts, or is the option uneconomical in a hugely overpopulated world?
  5. In Rob Walker’s “Mirrored Image”:

    1. Why might one conclude that Norman’s mirror has no supernatural powers and that Norman is only hallucinating?
    2. If it could be proved that Norman knew the photocopier was dangerous when he told Gerald of the defect, what crime might he be charged with?
    3. The story concludes with: “There was no holding Norman back.” What more might Norman do to further his power and self-esteem?
  6. In Michael Stewart’s “A Crew Comes Home to Port”:

    1. Does the character of Jacque ever appear in the story? Does he account for the sinking of the TimeBandit?
    2. Does Captain Rogers tell anyone what happened to the TimeBandit?
    3. Why does the TimeBandit finally come home? What “home” does it return to?
    4. Is the story a ghost story or does it overstep Bewildering Stories’ guideline about plots that end with “but it was all a dream” or the equivalent?

    Responses welcome!

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