Reader's Diary #937- Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer: Seal
The Eye of Loni's Storm, Loni discussed Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer's short story "Seal," which is found in the month's edition of The Walrus. While she enjoyed the story, she seemed to have been taken aback by the "strange" and "unexpected" ending. That was enough to hook me.
Of course, an unexpected ending is now expected and thus, not unexpected anymore, so our reactions cannot be the same as Loni's. And, in fact, I almost predicted what the unexpected/expected ending was going to be. It begins as a simple tale told by a man fondly remembering a fishmonger and his wife who used to live below him. At this point, there's a faint hint of an Oedipal complex sans the incest. At this point, the story could veer in any direction. It's as likely to be a Margaret Laurence tragedy as it is the strange story that Loni has promised.
It's a quirky story, and I was introduced to folklore that I was unfamiliar with (I'd been thinking the wife was a mermaid, but that's not it). Or was I? Turns out I had been briefly introduced to a similar idea with John Buchan's "Skule Skerry," which I'd read for a Short Story Monday a couple years back. Though I must say, I like Kuitenbrouwer's writing more.
(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)