See the Elephant, Issue 3: Slipping Through the Cracks
Edited by Melanie Lamaga
Cover Artist: Sophia Hermes
Review by Sam Tomaino
Metaphysical Circus Mass Market Paperback / e
Date: 29 July 2017
Links: See The Elephant / How to Support / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
See the Elephant Magazine, Issue 3: Slipping Through the Cracks explores "what it means to slip through a crack, intentionally or not, into oblivion or freedom, how it feels to be threatened by some terrible, broken thing, or to break ourselves". Below are reviews of the stories original to this issue.
"Arkteia" by Genevieve Williams -+- Cal is investigating a landslide in a Reclaimed area that had engulfed a geothermal power source. Was it sabotage by the bear-worshipping cult known as the arktoi? Cal meets his ex-wife Kate, now calling herself Iphigenia, and she guides him around. We get their backstory, too. A poignant tale, well told.
"The Pretty Child" by Michaele Jordan -+- When a beautiful boy with his head shaved comes to her door, she thinks he is an escapee from the Drake Lords camps. She lets his hair grow and he becomes one of her shoplifting crew. But he is something else. Very good!
"The Language of Shame" by Mathew Scaletta & Rebecca Brewster -+- A man named Ray posts to some Facebook-like page that his daughter, Amani, has been found in a coma. He asks for anyone to tell him about her in the past days. He gets an answer from Kip, who says that he was Amani's pimp. He had also previously been Amani's best friend, Kimberly. He tells Ray about Amani being interviewed for a television show called Soiled Doves that interviews prostitutes. There is also a mysterious woman in white and stories about other prostitutes disappearing. That's all only in the beginning. This is a truly unsettling tale and very well told.
"Remember the Elephant?" by Kyle E. Miller -+- An elephant rampages through a village and Xeebra is there for her last moments. Touching.
"Jewel of the North" by H.V. Chao is a reprinted story from Epiphany, 2009.
"Spellman Mathers' Travelling Show & Zoo of Ordinary Creatures" by Edoardo Albert -+- A boy named Sadhu finds himself at the eponymous circus. The owner offers to take him back home but the time period might be wrong. Aadhu also wants to avoid someone called the Lady. What to do when she is in the audience for your show. Wonderfully told with great touches of fantasy.
"Slaughter" by Rachel Verkade -+- Danny has a job he really needs working in a slaughter house for horses. He is looking at them and sees that one has a horn. His co-worker sees nothing unusual. What should he do? Nice chill at the end of this one.
"The Purple Rose of Brooklyn, or Meeting Marshall McLuhan (With a Little Help From Mayan Apocalypse Planet X/Nibiru)" by Marleen S. Barr is a reprinted story first published in The Medium is the Muse [Channeling Marshall McLuhan], 2014).
"The Last Week of the Beast" by Rose Szabo -+- Our narrator lives in a near-future Amsterdam on the Damrak, an avenue and partially filled canal. In his younger years, he had his body altered to look something like a gryphon, but without wings. He had worked hustling men and is now retired. He has health problems. But when a young woman asks to draw his picture, he is touched and tells her to look him up in a week. For the rest of the story, he waits for her to come.
"Litany for the Departed" by S. Kay Nash -+- Jeannie, our narrator, was at her mother's side when she died but was actually too close to the body. Now she must live life encountering the dying in this chilling tale. Really unsettling.
"The Wardrobe" by Matthew Sanborn Smith -+- Albert's new house came with an enormous wardrobe filled with clothes from every era of civilization. He hosts a party in which people can go into the wardrobe and come out in costume. But when someone fails to emerge, he and his girlfriend Sarah go deep into the wardrobe, looking for him. Another very imaginative tale to close out the issue.
See the Elephant is unique collection of tales, all of which are good. I I highly recommend it.