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Tag Archives: fiction

Fall 2019 Short Story 1

7 Sep

September 7, 2019

The days are getting shorter, nights are getting chilly. Time for a story.


 

It was such a pretty kitten, so pretty. Lindsey wanted to pet it, to stroke it with her fingers, but…

Why couldn’t she? She was so tired, oh so tired. She wanted to lift her arms, to reach out, to touch the pretty little kitten. But she was oh so tired, and her arms hurt so much…

It was grey, she thought, grey, maybe, with white spots? It was hard to tell. The light was dim, and her eyes just couldn’t see well. Why was it so hard to see?

Pretty little kitty, sitting there, just a few feet from the bed. It was making a little mess, lapping up the water with its tongue, getting little spots on its fur.

Who gave it water? Lindsey could almost recall, then could not. Little kitty, getting all wet. Couldn’t they put that water in a bowl?

She wanted to lift her head, to see if the kitty had spilled the water but she couldn’t. And the effort made her so dizzy.

Oh little kitty, could you come here? I don’t know where I am anymore. Why is that puddle on the floor? That dripping… Oh, it’s so dark…

… I almost fell asleep, kitty, here you are, lying on my chest. I’ve never seen a cat with red fur. All around your mouth. I, I oh, I’m so tired. I was sure this would be faster…

… sweet kitty, giving me kitty kisses… I’ll miss you, I think…

 

And the little kitten licked Lindsey all over her face, leaving little trails of Lindsey’s own blood up and down her cheek.

 

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My Review of The Whispering Gorilla, by Wilcox and Reed

8 Dec

December 8, 2018

The Whispering Gorilla by Don Wilcox & Return of the Whispering Gorilla by David Reed.

Wow, where to begin?

First, if you have not checked them out, look at the other titles published by Armchair Fiction. They publish a huge number of stories from the pulp era.

As for this book, it may be the best story of a gorilla with the transplanted brain of a man fighting Nazis that I have ever read. On the other hand it is also the worst. (I’ve only read one, of course.)

And that really does sum up this book. The first story is short, about 79 pages, but it is a fast read and deceptive. It reaches 79 pages only because it is printed in a larger font than the longer second story. However, it is the better of the two. It is written in a simple and straightforward style but it is surprisingly realistic. Although the Whispering Gorilla talks like a man and dresses and acts like a man, he is still in the body of a gorilla. A sillier story (and yes, I know how silly this already sounds) would have him simply accepted as a talking gorilla. But that never happens in this book. Everyone suspects he is a very eccentric man in a gorilla suit to hide his identity. Not for a second does anyone think he is a real gorilla. As for the plot, the gorilla continues his previous human life as a crusading journalist (whom everyone thinks is a man in a gorilla suit, for some reason) and brings down a ring of war profiteers, before apparently dying at the hands of the police. Ridiculous as it sounds, it is a fun tale.

The second, longer story, is written by another, arguably better, author. I say “arguably” because while the writing is more complex and sophisticated than in the first, the plot is ridiculously laughable. The Whispering Gorilla did not die at the end of the first book but was secretly transported back to Africa to recover at the home of the scientist who created him. The problem is that he is slowly losing his humanity, while also becoming leader of all the jungle apes. Well, if it stopped there, this could be a somewhat interesting variation on Tarzan. Problem is the author didn’t stop there. The Whispering Gorilla is not the main character in this story. Neither is the scientist, who had a large part in the first book. Here, the scientist is bed-ridden and does little at all. The main plot is about a group of Nazis who plan to train gorillas to command submarines to sink allied destroyers. In the jungle!

I’ll let that sink in. A group of Nazis who plan to train the gorillas to command submarines to sink allied destroyers.

To that end, they build silly gorilla-sized ships and submarines on wheels and ride them around the jungle like oversized tricycles to teach the gorillas maneuvers that will destroy the enemy ships. This takes only a couple of days, believe it or not,  and the head Nazi is ready to put his plan into action. To say it doesn’t work is really not necessary, is it? The rest of the plot is about resistance fighters and a beautiful girl, with whom the gorilla -of course- falls in love.

This was certainly one of the stranger books I’ve read. I really enjoyed the first story. It was a great example of 40’s pulp fiction. The second story had delusions of grandeur and never lived up to the fun of the first. I’m glad I read it and I’ll probably reread the first story again, but not the second.


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