Twisted Short Stories #5 - Metamorphosis (Coffee Break Tales)

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April 5, May 5, Vol 1 - Alien Invasion. Vol 2 - Social Media. Vol 4 - Metamorphosis. Vol 5 - Animal Attack. Vol 6 - Coming of Age. Vol 10 - Superheroes. Vol 13 - Post-Apocalyptic. Vol 14 - Artificial Intelligence 1-Year Anniversary. Vol 16 - Witches Competition Winners Announcement. Vol 18 - Possessed Objects. Vol 19 - Serial Killers. Vol 27 - Ancient Egypt. Vol 30 - London Underground. A Christmas Day Message!

Gemima Strench and the Cephalophore of Hecate Hall. CHEF : Within the psyche is the mind and within the mind are the two moieties, the real and the irreal, the left and the right. In the real we cling to the wreckage of safe certainty but in the irreal we enter the unsafe world of dreams, absurdities, impossibilities, the place where the accepted laws of nature and logic are broken. And why should we enter this realm which we are so reluctant to experience?

Because it is the centre.

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It is the source of creation and the next step on the way we should all have the courage to follow. He has said his piece.

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In Issue 61 we published a play by Turner that I would say is more absurdist than irreal. The absurd is the object of clear and distinct thought. It belongs to the right-side-up world, as the actual limit of human powers. Purl two. But Rose, despite her assertions that she takes care of Bertha, seems only to taunt her and offer her meals of cooked rodents.

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Despite the bleak humor in this play, we get the distinct impression that Bertha, Rose, and Mr. Pottz have given up on trying to understand their world. Instead, we find an outcome as distressing as anything Nell and Nag experience in Endgame or the fate that comes to Grandma in The Sandbox — all are trapped in a hopeless stasis, waiting for the inevitable. B E Turner has been active in community theatre as playwright, actor, and director for many years.

Reading his plays is enjoyable and worthwhile, but they are of course meant to be performed onstage. Pottz is Mrs. Note especially the knitting Bertha has been working on for five months, which looks like a misshapen multicolored patch of despair.

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Twenty years ago, as G. Surprisingly, there are only eleven short pieces in that selection, a fact which contributes to the satisfyingly irreal nature of this group of microfictions. The fact that the writer has only hinted at meaning and narrative and we readers must do so much work of our own forces us to use our imaginations more than usual, even when the story is realistic.

As Rhonda Buchanan notes at the end of her introduction to the volume:. Those who are addicted to reading know that oftentimes it is impossible to put a book down once you open it. There is almost something irreal about how well these challenging little pieces stand up under such intense scrutiny. Happily, you can still get Quick Fix online at Wordery. In fact, most of the writers whose work has been featured in Our Year of Reading at the Irreal Cafe have been published in The Cafe Irreal on a number of occasions.

The cover of his story collection, Nothing But Trouble , features a photograph by Vincent Louis Carrella, whose powerful images add depth and flavor to this volume.

The cover photo is whimsical but also a little disturbing, and it features an impish-looking boy with a moustache, beard, and eyepatch drawn onto his face. The narrator also admits to having problems with his eyes, and he gets out of bed to try to see these shapes for what they are.

Owls can turn their heads degrees.

They have to. Their eyes are so large they have no room left for eye muscles. The story undermines our expectations subtly, and the photo of the owl helps it to do that. As the story begins, the narrator tells us that he has been invited to a surprise birthday party for a friend. He says he has few friends.

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He says he really hates parties. He says he sometimes does go to them, but the problem is that he often runs into his doppelganger. You should do yourself a favor and leave. Part of the pleasure of reading Thurber is the deftness with which these events are handled. The dialog is spot on. The incidents are believably told. Yet the oddness of the outcome, which blends so smoothly into the story as a whole, is what makes it irreal.


By tying my non-fiction books to my fiction books it allows the reader to go on a journey with me. Just how far will he go to achieve his goal? This version, which goes by the name Pena de Muerte in Spanish, is available from all the usual Amazon sites , including Amazon. And what if that individual leaned a bit too heavily on her haunted house persona in order to cope with that blow? Pottz have given up on trying to understand their world.

The story springs into a different configuration, a different perspective, like those optical illusions where you see the head of an old woman looking one way until someone suggests that they see a young girl looking in another direction. This shifting perspective is the key to the irreality of this piece. She was telling a man with a brown cap that she had released her equity, consolidated her assets, become bullish on America. The narrator lives in a rooming house with a main door at street level.

People wedge the door open with a brick. Not here. Thurber undermines our expectations of what we want to get from a Twilight-Zone -style tale and gives us something a little more philosophical that includes some advice for writers. There are a few other non-realistic offerings in this volume, but most of the rest of the stories in Nothing But Trouble are what we might call naturalistic or realistic stories. Thurber turns his steady and unflinching gaze on failed or failing relationships between parent and child or between domestic partners, and again and again he views poignant situations with a cynical and distanced eye.

In that image two figures seem to move forward with effort and determination. In either case we really must keep going. Ed marks her with a dot of nail polish so he will recognize her later and then takes her outside to the terrace. Perhaps she was a cricket. At the beginning of the story a drowned man is found. The inability to say who the drowned man actually is results in uncertainty and anxiety for so many people that we have a sense that reality is being undermined. All of the stories in the volume, in fact, have a sense of unreality if not irreality about them and tend to oscillate between the ominous and the optimistic.

Some of the stories magnify small and seemingly insignificant incidents from everyday life which take us in unexpected directions. In each case the story starts with a small aspect of the quotidian and embellishes it, creating a small doorway into an irreal world. In other stories Gebbie deals with larger philosophical and somewhat mystical issues — actually, matters of life and death — yet in a very personal way.

And then there are some short pieces that start with an unreal but insightful premise and carry it through to a fantastical conclusion:. Though most of the short fictions in this collection are told with relatively serious narrative voices, there is also humor to be found. Is there anxiety and discomfiture in these humorous pieces? Skip to content. As Rhonda Buchanan notes at the end of her introduction to the volume: Those who are addicted to reading know that oftentimes it is impossible to put a book down once you open it.

And, under the water, babies. All three stories have a much stronger impact than their brevity might lead us to expect.