The Week of the Grendel Day 3: Whips and Wands

Aww day 3 now it’s coming on like thunder now, you can feel it. We’ve moved into the magazine proper, no longer passing through doorways, we’ve started down that rough mythical path through slant alleys and mushroom haunted woods. Don’t step out of that path there, we’re in a metaphysical landscape now, so stick to the path don’t eat the food and ignore the strangers. Or even better yet! Walk off into the shadows, ignore the path, eat the banquet hall of cursed food and chat any ear that would bend your way. That’s the path to adventure, and no one really follows those rules anyway.

The third story is from a writer I respect the hell out of, someone who I’ve chatted with in lost flying emails through the ether way before I started the magazine back up again. Someone whose work has a power to it that you can’t deny. Richard Bowes. Awesome man. His story? Whips and Wands.

Read it here first, so we can discuss it proper-

There ya go. There it is. Another short story? Why yes, but it carries us forward, it has a rhythm of dipping toes into light and burning up from the ground up.  This story has a double story, as all the stories technically do in this magazine. A story that reflects it, shadows it, calls it out.

The tone is very noir in a way, but in a Beat Generation kind of way. A slanted noir, with a very realness to it, and yet it contains something mythic on the shadows. Something symbolic. Whips, wands, a mistress. All things S&M and yet at the same time, it feels like something of a ritual. The beauty of it all, even the bare asses and the death of falling, of falling down, of a release.

There is something archaic here beneath the muscular poetry of the writing. Something deep, something that digs into you, calls you into it. You feel witness to something, a part of it, a conspiracy of sorts.

And that ending! It’s leaves you wondering, as all the stories in the first issue do. There isn’t an exact explanation, there are so many questions still left unanswered, still probing, still looking. Like every story in this issue, it requires something from the reader. A tithe, a price. It wants us to fill it, to make it whole. It leaves us aching and questioning, and we desire more. But then it’s over. Like that. Over. With such an ambiguous paragraph. What is that release? Is it death? We fly, he flies. Did she fly? What is happening here?

Again, something mythic calls to us. There is a price paid, a sacrifice, two sacrifices. One of time, one of self.

As a side note- you can now buy copies of this magazine on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. And, if you love what we’re doing and want to support us, check out the patreon. Support at 2.99 an issue and you’ll basically be subscribing, and getting the version of your choice delivered a week before it goes live on the internet.


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