Monday, November 25, 2013

Reader's Diary #1085- Barbara Bruederlin: The Dead Month

It's not the whole "A Picture is Worth 1000 Words" mentality as if words and images are competing for value, but new online magazine Latent Image seems to share the philosophy of graphic novelists everywhere: that together words and images can complement each other instead.

It was with this in mind that they linked a photo by Mark Walton (not the image shown above), with a short story by my good friend, Barbara Breuderlin, called "The Dead Month." Barbara, if you've ever checked out her blog, is known for her wit, but this story is not humorous, not even darkly so, though it is dark. She's taken a character who's had those morbid fantasies we've all had on occasion, and given him what he wanted: a world to himself. It's post-apocalyptic though the details are vague, merely dropped as a matter of fact. We also gather that this is somewhat new as there's an inner tension, with the main character clearly still coming to terms with his new existence, almost as if, in a superstitious way, he's blaming himself for bringing it on— yet despite this, he has not entirely let go of the idea that this eventually could be a blessing.

It's short, and short on plot, but intriguing enough to warrant a couple of read-throughs.

UPDATE: Well, this is embarrassing. Sort of. It turns out that the link I provided above was not the whole story. It turns out that to access the whole thing, I would have needed to have subscribed to the magazine. The thing is, it didn't say that anywhere on the page I'd linked to, nor did it say Barbara's story was excerpted. And funnily enough, I still think the excerpt can stand on its own! However, if you're interested in reading the whole thing, Barbara has graciously left a link to the entire piece in the comments. I've left my link as is, to compare. The only changes I would make to the above comments is that it is not as short on plot as I'd first suggested and there is more of a resolution to the tension.

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


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I am so honoured to have my little tale mentioned for Short Story Monday! Thank you. So this is what arriving feels like.

I notice, though, that the link only gives the first page of the story. Here's a link that gives both pages:
The Dead Month

John Mutford said...

Thanks for the link Barb! (See the update in the post.)

Allison said...

I was just going to send you the link...but Barb beat me to it.

Hope you'll consider submitting a story to our next issue, John!