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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 584

Totems Without a Pole

  1. In Brian McTaggart’s “The Winter of Dalton Cosby”:

    1. What is the function of Juliet? How would Dalton’s character be affected if her story were merged with his?

    2. What themes would be developed if the story were expanded to novella length?
    3. How might the story be told at flash fiction length? What is the length of the same story in Luke 10:33-36?

  2. In Alyssa D. Ross’s “Rampion Tower”:

    1. How do you interpret the title? Does the poem seem evoke the story of Rapunzel?
    2. The last line is ambiguous: “But those hard, little bees always seem to prevail.” How shall it be read? As humor? Resignation? Dismissive annoyance? Something else?

  3. In Sarah Ann Watts’ Winter Ship, “The Castle of the Sabre”:

    1. Kyran’s family name appears to be “Shade.” Has it been mentioned before?
    2. What might be the function of the unresponsive, unseen person who is put into Kyran’s cell during the night and whose disappearance passes unnoticed the next morning?

    3. What is the function of the maidservant? Why might she appear to be terrified?

    4. Why does Kyran accept unquestioningly the nickname “kin slayer” and the accusation that he killed the princes? In light of Chapter 5, “Ash and Blood,” why must he suspect the princes are alive and know that Mireio has assumed responsibility for them?

    5. What is the significance of the totems falcon, wolf and bear? Does Kyran seem to know? What plot might Queen Daria be hatching?

  4. Responses welcome!

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