Showing posts from March, 2014

Book Review Column, By Lissa Sloan (From the Forest and Opal)

Into the Woods: In which I review books about the woods and set in the woods (From the Forest and Opal).
From the Forest: A Search for the Hidden Roots of Our Fairy Tales by Sara Maitland
In From the Forest, Sara Maitland provides an in depth look into the connection between forests and fairy tales. Maitland theorizes that the landscape a group of people live in heavily influences their culture, including their fairy tales. For instance, characters in Middle Eastern tales do not go into the desert the way European characters would go into a forest, because the desert would only cause their deaths. They find their adventures travelling to other places or at sea. Whereas while European characters could get lost in a forest, they could also hide, find adventure, and find themselves once again. Therefore, Northern European fairy tales are tightly bound to the countryside of Northern Europe, especially its forests. Over the course of a year, Maitland records her visits to twelve Bri…

The Lady and the Ghost, By Jennifer A. McGowan

Editor's note: Jennifer's work has been featured often in EC--she knows how to evoke a mood. A touch of the macabre and a nod to classic story-poems from the British Isles made this a winner. Bess, she had a likely lad, and that lad he had Bess. Why he went out on Hallows eve is anybody’s guess.
He lost his way and climbed a hill to see what could be seen— Glided up to him from out the mists a grim and ghostly queen.
“One kiss, my handsome Will,” she cried, “One kiss!I claim my prize. or those who climb up Tanner’s Hill are driven mad, or wise.”
Now Will he fancied wisdom if it would get him back to Bess. He bowed to the ghostly figure, bestowed on it a kiss.
Just one kiss from my clay-cold lips and you’ll never be alone.
And he saw gold abounding, riches more than he could name. He gathered gems up in his hands and then he turned back home.
Bess waited with a lantern brushing her flowing hair. She thought she heard Will in the lane but nobody walked there.
She thought she heard Will by the byre but no-o…

How Red Runs, By A.L. Loveday

Editor's note: A.L. Loveday's story writes a story that is completely unexpected and terribly twisty--in a really dark, intriguing way. I'll never see Red the same way gain.

run. We all run. Feet pound the earth, bodies steam, tongues out and pant hard. We are silent. The forest moves aside but not for me--it gets in my face, my skin, tearing and stabbing and making red run.

A howl to the east. Stop. Raise noses to the crisp night air: Mother. Full moon guides us to where she sits by fresh kill, with sour smell and warm wet under foot from running red. Hungry, hungry we crowd around.

"Back off!"

"Wait your turn!"

Brothers and sisters growl at me. I try again but jaws snap at face. Crawl to Mother, feel her warmth and soft fur. Nuzzle, find nipple and suck but there is no more! She growls too and pushes me away. Stomach hurts. I cry.

Wait and wait. My turn but it is no good. Still so much hunger and pain. Cry again, but still no more…