Sunday, March 29, 2009

Short story: The Parade of You by Barth Anderson

Click to read The Parade of You by Barth Anderson. I found it at the Archived fiction of at The Journal of Mythic Arts.

Take a cold, translucent candle from the child in the bulb-eyed fish mask, and pray for your beloved to die. Light the candle from a torch at the woodland path's gate. Say, “Burn.”

This is a dark story with fantasy elements. Mostly deals with Death as one of the characters.

For Death is the doomed hero, a mask of action. He steps forward, and with two mighty hammer blows knocks the corpse backwards. The creature's hands have been cut off so that the actor playing Death may easily defeat it. Protect us, your people, King Death. Bash it just like that. Yes. Rain your hammer down upon the corpse's brow. Crack its yellow mask and reveal the dead man's face so we can see that this was our neighbor, our countryman, before he did not die. Spatter the nearby oak trunk with gore, a starburst of blood upon the ground around you.

The narrator is talking too us telling us what to do. As the title suggests, the parade consists of us, facing many fantasy elements and finally death. Mythical elements exist with concrete images. Scary part exists with rationality. At the end of it, darkness of death gives way to light of death.

Not a figure. Not a mask. Death is seven egret-prowed boats, whose necks double back upon themselves as if in flight.

Those who like unusual stories should give it a chance.