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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 646

Breaking Orbit

  1. In Chris Wilkensen’s “O’Hare’s Lost and Found,” at what point does the narrator decide to stay in Chicago? Why does he do so?

  2. In Anna Ruiz’ “An Ancient Light, Gathering”:

    1. Why might the repetition of blood be taken figuratively rather than literally?
    2. How does the poem denote time past?
  3. In Gary Clifton’s “The Casa Loma Players”:

    1. Why might the arrest seem to come belatedly?
    2. What two lines of dialogue form the story?
    3. What is the policeman’s role: is he heroic, tragic, pathetic?
  4. In Xenia Melzer’s “Forest Deep, Forest Dark”:

    1. The forest seems to have a symbolic function rather than play an active part in the story. What might it symbolize?
    2. Can the witch or Gretel do nothing to escape their fate?
    3. What does the story imply about evil: is it persistent or an aberration?
  5. In Ronald Linson’s “In Pursuit of Princess Napalia”:

    1. What does the story imply about fiction and reality?
    2. What tragic elements does the story contain? What comic or farcical elements?
  6. In J. P. Flores’ “Mud”:

    1. Is it plausible that Mud would tell Mara “They are big”? How does he know?
    2. Why does Mud insist that the servants be served first? Is he following a religious principle or is he replicating a custom from the monastery?
  7. In Stephen Ellams’ “Vanitas”:

    1. Why is it obvious that the first two lines of the poem are a paraphrase rather than a direct quote?
    2. If all is “vanity,” i.e. emptiness, is life worth living? If not, what is the point of resurrection?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright November 30, 2015 by Bewildering Stories
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