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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 828

Pass-Fail Tests

  1. In Wes Blalock’s Tears for Lucifer:

    1. How might Eleanor Hodges have “belled the cat” by putting a collar and tag on Lucifer? Could she have kept “exotic animals” — let alone tigers — on her ranch legally?
    2. What caliber pistol and ammunition would Birdie McLaren need to incapacitate a full-grown tiger?
    3. What must Birdie McLaren report when she returns to the Park Ranger station? What might the reaction be? What should be done?
  2. In Bill Bowler’s He Gobbled Up the Minutes:

    1. Can you think of an additional way to anticipate death?
    2. How might one say that Woody Allen’s wish is guaranteed: “I’m not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens”?
  3. In Miriam E. Neiberg’s From Hand to Hand:

    1. In what ways does Amelia Rose improve the narrator’s life?
    2. Did Rose Leonor survive the Titanic or was she merely a mass murderer? Does anything prevent the line of mortal “goddesses” from being broken by accident or illness?
    3. How would you say that the narrator, as Regina Amelia, uses the supernatural powers she receives? With due caution? Overcautiously? Self-indulgently, with an occasional good deed? How would you use your goddess powers?
  4. In James Rumpel, High-Stakes Testing:

    1. What kind of “war” might account for the wintry weather in May?
    2. Is the teacher, Michael Rawley, commended for good work, let pass till next year, or slated for execution?

    3. Under what circumstances can the parents ever hope to see their children again? In what way does the school resemble the infamous “boarding schools” and “residential schools” for indigenous children in North America? In light of the environmental setting alone, why might the school itself be worse than useless?

    4. The consequences of failing the test are common knowledge. Would parents accept those consequences unanimously and unquestioningly? How can the children be prevented from knowing that the test literally puts their lives at risk?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright © October 14, 2019 by Bewildering Stories
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