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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 745

Escape Lines

  1. In Bertrand Cayzac’s “In the City Where Mother Dwelt”:

    1. To what historical period does “Pyrenees escape lines” refer?
    2. “Haman” refers to the book of Esther. What historical figures might Haman represent?
    3. “Fair students” refers to appearance. In light of “Haman” and the “escape lines,” why might identity be all-important?
    4. What emotions does the poem evoke concerning the past, present and future?
    5. The poem follows a strict form of prosody. What is it? How does it differ, at times, from epic meter?
  2. In Tom Vaine’s “Her Mother’s Girl”:

    1. How is Sadie’s mother represented? What is the tension between mother and daughter?
    2. What does the title mean: “Her Mother’s Girl”?
  3. In Russell Helms’ “The Forensic Toddler”:

    1. Can you identify point of view shifts in the narrative?
    2. At what age would Justin become a suspect in the double murder?
    3. Justin is emotionally disengaged. Is he merely young and precocious or is he a psychopath headed for a life of crime?
    4. What television dramas might the story parody?
  4. In Charles C. Cole’s “The Far”:

    1. Why might Junior Tetley have nicknamed the strange creature the “Far”? Why not some other name?
    2. Is the “Far” one creature or might it be more than one?
    3. Why does Bumpus commit suicide?
    4. The “old man” feels guilty that he lent Bumpus a scythe. Is his guilt earned or unearned? What might the townspeople have done differently?
  5. In Gary Beck’s “Children of Despair”:

    1. What children, exactly, does the poem refer to? How and why are they treated unfairly?
    2. Does the poem overstep Bewildering Stories’ “inspirational” guideline?
  6. In Mark Dennis’s “Certifiable Love”:

    1. How many martinis does Chris Gilmore drink while waiting for Taylor? Why martinis rather than a less flavored beverage?
    2. Why might Taylor send Holly to deliver the certificate without accompanying her? Is he being cautious or careless?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright January 15, 2018 by Bewildering Stories
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