Department header
Bewildering Stories

Challenge 776

Strings Cut and Tied

  1. In Robert J. Howe’s Pinocchio’s Diary:

    1. How might the story change if Tiberio told it in the past tense rather than the present?
    2. What is the main means of characterization? What does Tiberio see that allows him to interpret others’ emotions and intentions?
    3. In what contexts and for what purpose does Tiberio refer to the traversa, the contraption that holds his puppet strings? At what point does he discard it and his strings completely?
    4. When does Tiberio begin to realize that he is not the only one who is a puppet?
    5. How would you expect Il Magistrato to feel when he realizes that Tiberio has finally fled Orsomarso for good?
    6. Is the story a fairy tale, like “Cinderella,” or is it more a story of childhood neglect and abuse told in a symbolic mode?
  2. In Meg Smith’s Amanda’s Forest, what story might awaken?

  3. In Janet E. Sever’s Dead Man Working:

    1. In what way is the story a parody of the zombie genre?
    2. What conditions in a contemporary office workplace does the story satirize? How do supervisors such as Sherry and Lane react to Bill’s showing up for work dead? How do the narrator and Carla show concern for Bill?
  4. In Clem Griffith’s Settlements:

    1. What distinguishes each settlement from the other three?
    2. Who lives or might live in each of these settlements?
    3. How might each settlement depict a particular state of mind?
  5. In Mike Acker’s Personals:

    1. Aside from the narrator, how many different people can be identified in the poem?
    2. In what way does the poem not overstep our Real Persons guideline? Assuming that the people listed in the poem are real, might one or more be identified, nonetheless, by Internet research?
    3. Can the reader be sure whether the poem oversteps a principle of autobiographical poetry or fiction: “For structure, use real situations but not real events”?
    4. The narrator concludes that what he is cannot be found in him. Does the poem imply ironically that the lost loves might have found the same thing?
  6. In Morris J. Marshall’s Roadside Assistance:

    1. What does the narrator, James Davidson, do that seems out of character and unexplained? What does he do that he, himself, considers odd?
    2. Since Sarah appears every ten years from 1928 on, wouldn’t her legend have gradually become well established? Wouldn’t her apparition come to be expected?
    3. Does the story lapse into sentimentality, i.e. unearned emoton, or does it successfully avoid it?

Responses welcome!

date Copyright September 3, 2018 by Bewildering Stories
What is a Bewildering Stories Challenge?

Home Page