THE WEB JOURNAL OF JOHN RAY

A Fire Reflected

Posted in Books, Novels by J.R. Bumanglag on February 17, 2009

Three-hundred and forty six pages and almost a month (excluding Anansi) had passed; here I am staring into the far planes of my window. I bought the book because I wanted to get an idea on how to write a short story, a piece of treatment lingering in my mind. In a self-contained cell, I thought I was better off reading a novel. But practicality beat me to it. So after a time well-spent reading the collection, I must say, it was brilliantly done. The stories, although written in different times and spaces, are beautiful and timeless. Admittedly, I’m more of a sci-fi fan, of science and adventures into the deep unknown. But, this book probably gave me the best taste of fantasy I’ve ever had. All things need not to be explained, principles and laws are left aside. It was just an adventure really. I was just there to enjoy the fun of fantasy.

Looking back at every piece, I sliced some excerpts from the most memorable stories in the book.

***

Chivalry

Mrs. Whitaker found the Holy Grail; it was under a fur coat.

***


The Price

That cat, my wife had said, when he first arrived, is a person. And there was something person-like in his huge leonine like face: his broad black nose, his greenish-yellow eyes, his fanged but amiable mouth (still leaking amber pus from the right lower lip).

***

Troll Bridge

“I’m a troll,: whispered the troll, in a small, scared voice. “ Fol rol de ol rol.”
He was trembling.
I held out my hand and took his huge paw in mine. I smiled at him. “It’s ok,” I told him. “Honesty, it’s okay.”
The troll nodded.

***

Changes

The nurse walks him out into the blazing sun, across the road, and down onto the sand of the Copacabana.
The people on the beach stare at the old man, bald and rotten, in his antique pajamas, gazing about him with colorless once-brown eyes through bottle-thick dark-rimmed spectacles.
He stares back at them.
They are golden and beautiful. Some of them are asleep on the sand. Most of them are naked, or they wear a kind of bathing attire that emphasizes and punctuates their nakedness.
Rajit know them, then.

***

Bay Wolf

And he said, What are you?
He said, Ow, no, ow.
He said, Hey, shit, this isn’t fair.
Then he said nothing at all, not words now,
no more words,
because I had ripped off his arm
and left it
fingers spastically clutching nothing,
on the beach.

***

We Can Get Them For You Wholesale

‘Complete discreet disposal of irksome and unwanted mammals, etc.’ went the entry ‘Ketch, Hare, Burke and Ketch. The Old Firm.’ It went on to give no address, but only a telephone number.

***

Mouse

“Look, what I want is a humane trap. It’s like a corridor. The mouse goes in, the door shuts behind it, it can’t get out.”
“So how do you kill it?”
“You don’t kill it. You drive a few miles away and let it go. And it doesn’t come back to bother you.”
Becky was smiling now, examining him as if he were just the most darling thing, just the sweetest, dumbest, cutest little thing. “You stay here,” she said, “I’ll check out back.”

***

Murder Mysteries

“Sure,” I said to the man. “Sure, tell me a story.”
He coughed, grinned white teeth – a flash in the darkness – and he began,
“First thing I remember was the Word. And the Word was God. Sometimes, when I get really down, I remember the sound of the word in my head, shaping me, forming me, giving me life.
“The Word gave me a body, gave me eyes, And I opened my eyes, and I saw the light of the Silver City.

***

Where do I go from here? Whispers are telling me many things, to pin everything down before it’s all gone.

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