Monday, October 29, 2012

Reader's Diary #886- Karen L. Abrahamson: Coyotes, Cats, and Other Creatures

(Photo by Yathin S. Krishnappa)
After last week's shocking and disturbing tale by Graham Masterton, I needed something a little lighter, less twisted for this week's story. It's still October, so I was looking for something with a supernatural or horror bent— just something on the milder side for today. Karen L. Abrahamson's "Coyotes, Cats, and Other Creatures" fits the bill nicely.

 The story is about a man named Richard who has reluctantly gone to see a professional to help to manage his grief over his deceased wife. His doctor suggests that on his daily walks into the woods Richard should imagine leaving some of his difficult emotions there as if they were concrete objects. To his children and his doctor, it would appear that this plan works, but the omniscient reader isn't so sure.

I like when authors leave the supernatural up the reader to decide. As Richard begins to see things in his periphery or when the behaviour of the woodland animals seems to be slightly off, it's minor enough to brush aside. Figments of Richard's imagination. But if you don't brush them off, you can almost hear Edgar Allan Poe's raven cawing in the distance.

Almost. I didn't enjoy it as much as Poe's classic by any means, and I think it was the voice that didn't work for me. My wife and I have often prided ourselves on not being hung up on gender roles, yet Richard's voice sounds a little too feminine for me— and not in an effeminate man sort of way, but in a "you can tell this was written by a woman" sort of way. I've read tonnes of books and stories in which the author took on the role of the opposite gender and I've usually bought into it. Something about this one, however, doesn't seem convincing.

Otherwise, a decent diversion.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)

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