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2016 Story 24

Today's story comes from the anthology Clockwork Phoenix 5, edited by Mike Allen

24. THE ROAD, AND THE VALLEY, AND THE BEASTS by Keffy R.M. Kehrli.   The narrator of Kehrli's story lives in a town with no name which receives no visitors. The residents are not born there, but live, grow old and die there. If they have any memory of how they came to this place, the narrator doesn't profess it. The narrator and the narrator's friend Ria are the youngest adults in the town, and they share a common joy: watching the strange beasts that travel the only road that passes near the village. In the morning, the beasts carry the dead past the village to some unknown destination; in the evenings they return the way they came, their burden lifted. Both the narrator and Ria know that a bigger world exists outside thier town: the question is, what must they do to find out where the beasts are coming from and where the dead they carry are laid to rest?

Kehrli provides no easy answers throughout the day on which the story takes place, but entices the reader with hints and intimations to draw their own conclusions. The narrator's voice, haunted and dissatisfied with not knowing what the past held, drew me in right away. It reflects the times in my own life when I've wondered "how did I get here? Where am I going? Who really am I?"  And while the story itself may not answer those questions, even for the narrator, it does provide some answers, and some food for thought: maybe sometimes, how we got to a place is not as important as what we're meant to do while we're there.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2016 11:45 pm (UTC)
A STORY A DAY blog reviews all of CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 5
User time_shark referenced to your post from A STORY A DAY blog reviews all of CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 5 saying: [...] by Cassandra Khaw “The Road, and the Valley, and the Beasts [...]
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