Picture Credit to Ajale on Pixabay
Shades by Arthur Slade is a collection of horror (“Tales of Fear and Wonder”) short stories published in 2011. The 106-page collection of 16 stories is sold on Kindle for a price of USD 0.00. This is not a Kindle Unlimited publication. I comment on each story below but recommend readers start by reading Bubbles.
Snow White and the Seven Elves A story told in eight paragraphs and one line. There is no punctuation in the paragraphs and the author uses capital letters as the Muse directs. There are elves and Snow White who is not as white as snow.
What’s Coming A story of an almost repentant thief told in one paragraph with no punctuation or capital letters
Garbage Day Some families produce more trash than others but eventually, the men on the truck come around and make everything better for the following week.
Gydian Fights his Greatest Foe A story in which Gydian takes account of himself.
Fairytale Billy graduated early.
November Families change but shared memories remain in this emotional tale in which no one expresses emotion.
Virtual Dragon This very complex tale is of a near perfect VR world set inside a dystopian world. Theoretically, everyone should be happy. There is a resistance movement that believes the VR world should be destroyed; it is somehow morally wrong. But this leaves us back with a dystopian unsettling (although realistic) world. I’m confused.
Resurrection Blues Tell this story to the kids at Easter.
Walt Does The Resurrection When Disney characters were present at the Creation. Not the original one but maybe a minor, secondary one before the final conflict.
Jesus Busts A Bronc Jesus at a rodeo with Judas and the author in the audience. This story may not go over well in the bible belt but I found the wordplay interesting.
Not With a Whimper The quiet end of a marriage, the world, and time itself.
The Elephant King When reality and unreality meet; it would have worked except for the car horn.
A Time For Autonomy And on the seventh day, they arrived. A story of the writer as God.
Number Nine World The World is a Beatle
Bubbles: The Diary of Terrance Winslow This is a sample from a collection of anecdotes that make up this story. I believe this is the best story of the entire collection. “Today I followed a woman on my bus all the way to her home. I watched as she turned the keys on the lock to her house. Click. Click. Her hair was blonde. She was young and old at the same time. I did not make her ride the bus. I did not make her live there. I did not make her hair blonde. It is not my fault. When I got home I washed my hands.” (loc 1247-1250)
Stubb When you Google yourself and find your last known address was in the 1500s (years not house numbers) you may have a problem.
After a complete reading of this collection, I followed links to the author’s website, Twitter page, and Facebook page. There was a common denominator adjective used by the author, “clever.” These stories are clever in the use of language through wordplay. A reader might feel distracted by not being able to find a defined plot or a completely fleshed out character in a story. There are few endings, happy or otherwise. I recommend not reading them in order. Read Bubbles first.
I gave this four plus Amazon stars and will look for more “life observations” from this author.