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ON MYTH - Thor Reborn by William Gilmer

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Thor is one of the most recognizable mythological figures we have today. The Nordic god of thunder captivates us with a simple mentality and a drive to do what is right. While Thor has never really left our collective consciousness, he has enjoyed a revival thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since 2011 Thor has appeared in numerous movies which have sold billions of dollars in ticket sales worldwide. It’s safe to say that Thor is enjoying a popularity he hasn’t seen since the days of old.
As a new generation gets introduced to the son of Odin, it may be worthwhile to look at the differences between the classic god and the current movie superstar.My intention is not to show that the Marvel movies “got it wrong”, or isn’t “doing justice” to the traditional myths. All gods and mythologies change and evolve over time as they are exposed to new people and cultures. If the decision had been made to keep Thor mythologically accurate, he would have been denied the opportunity to grow wit…

DOUBLE FAIRY TALE FLASH - Cold Blooded by Katherine Herron AND The Rose by Donna Kennedy

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We've got 2 tales for today's Fairy Tale Flash...
First, they catch her in a net.
She lets them.
Their wide eyes and breathless curses send pools of cool blood writhing towards her cheeks. Humans go warm with embarrassment, she remembers absently. Fish don’t blush at all. Merpeople, with their cold blood, freeze at humiliation. They keep staring. She’s cold, colder still, an ice sculpture cracking under the pressure of each gaze.
She shatters.
For all their gaping, no one notices.

They spread her out on a metal slab cooler than her cheeks.
She doesn’t struggle. They poke and prod at the tail she can’t bear to examine for herself. She’s not cold anymore. Her tail is grey now, and her face greyer. She’s a fetus scream and flakes of dry skin. A series of scars and a headful of nightmares.

“Don’t sing for the humans,” her father used to say, several scalpels and too many sunsets ago, gesticulating with his violet tail rather than his webbed hands.

A scalpel gleams above her now, all sharp…

A CHRISTMAS IN JULY TALE - On a Cold Winter's Night by Amanda Bergloff

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She would sing songs in a language that made me think of ancient tangled woods that breathed like I did... It's summer, and it's hot where EC is, so celebrate "Christmas in July" and cool off (at least in your mind) with this tale of cousins, snow, and a special aunt.
I’ve always loved my Auntie Kay. She was by far my favorite aunt out of all the aunts that came to visit when I was a little girl. When my least favorite cousin, Maria, teased me and told me I needed to be nicer to everyone, Auntie Kay took the dirty rag she was dusting with and rubbed it in Maria’s face.
“You better be good for goodness’ sake,” Auntie Kay scolded. Maria ran off crying while Auntie Kay and I laughed.
I never liked the side of the family that cousin Maria was from. They dressed alike, sounded alike, and all of them had the same annoying laugh. It was horrible, and cousin Maria was the worst. She had to sleep in my room when they stayed during the holidays. Maria snored, and when she wasn’t s…

ON DEATH: ANTHROPOMORPHIC PERSONIFICATION and the STORIES WE TELL by Kiyomi Appleton Gaines

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How do stories using the personification of Death help us make peace with mortality? EC's contributing editor, Kiyomi Appleton Gaines,
shares her thoughts on the topic in this week's article:
The first story in which I remember reading about a personified Death, and one I still love, isThe Appointment in Samarra (or Samarkand). It's a very old tale, said to be from Mesopotamia, and is included in theTalmudand collections of Sufi wisdom, and is sometimes also calledWhen Death Came to Baghdad. In it, a man sends his servant on a long journey to avoid Death, only to find that Death had expected him there, in that other place, all along. I remember feeling that there was a certain injustice in that – if only the man had stayed home! How unfair that the man's fear of dying drove him to flee straight to the place of his death. Yet, how foolish to try to run away, only to spend his final days on a long journey to a distant land, far from all that he knew and loved. That is where…