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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 548 Response

What’s Behind the “Grifter”?

with Channie Greenberg

Challenge 548 asks several questions about “Becoming a Grifter.”

Channie Greenberg: It would have been fun if “Becoming a Grifter"” had been a keyed story, but I’m afraid it isn’t one.

In actuality, I was responding to a prompt for a flash that involved a grifter and that took place in the 1940s. Being ever so enamored of anthropomorphism and being habituated to thinking next to the box, the story you have resulted.

Don Webb: Thanks, Channie! It is a treat when authors or readers respond to the Challenges.

So the story is basically a writing excercise? A response to a prompt asking for a story about a grifter in the 1940’s? I’m impressed! I’m sure I’d have come up with something far less imaginative. I mean, who’d ever have thought of a monitor lizard named “Methuselah” surviving being trucked from the Ukraine to Germany and back in that day and age?

But I think there’s more to the story than simply a flight of fancy based on a whimsical writing prompt. Readers are going to interpret the story in the light of their own knowledge and experience. Perhaps they — like me — will endow good old “Methuselah” with symbolic significance. A tough old lady with a name straight out of Scripture learns to distrust funny-looking boots because they may be a sign of a drunken Nazi? There is something to be said for that.

Copyright © 2013 by Channie Greenberg
and Bewildering Stories

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