I finished reading "They Fly and They Float" and enjoyed it very much. There was an undertow there, a current taking us into deeper things. Feel the chill. The atmosphere is captured very well with little traces, little suggestive items, that all add to the conviction. The interview with the teacher is good; we the reader can grasp and seek in our mind's eye what is happening. There is also a close up on Rachel's daughter Paris at play. It set the scene. We look down like God at all of this happening.
Overall I enjoyed the story, but one little point I pondered about. If Rachel had the same gift as her child why wasn't she more sympathetic to her daughter? I answer my own question: Could it be it was meant to avoid all the "exact technicalities" (that often bog a plot down) and to use such a fact to create a new angle on Rachel. The daughter and mother scene: the reader does not have a clue that Rachel suffers the same as her daughter Paris.
I read very briefly about your challenge regarding Rachel and Paris. In later life I can imagine them being involved with Tarot cards or giving advice to people wanting to be reunited with their dead relatives. The two might even claim to see "angels." How will they earn their living? A simple office job or something more esoteric? Quite a question but an interesting one. Turning the question on its head, what if one or both decide to become nuns? Hearing voices can often be a cause of mental illness. It is indeed an interesting question.
I wonder if the same story was writen as flash fiction of maximum 1,000 words how it would turn out. Quite tense and shivery.
Thank you, Cleveland! A very nice essay with lots of good ideas! Now that you mention it, maybe someone would like to try their hand at a flash-fiction version.
Not only do our contributors appreciate the feedback, our readers will surely like it, as well. I’ll tell Susan Jane that your letter is appearing in this issue. I know she’ll be glad to see it.
Please send us your ideas!
Copyright © 2004 by Cleveland W. Gibson and Bewildering Stories