(Hey people - a small caveat. I have been slightly under the weather for the last few days; I basically slept through most of Friday evening, and yesterday I zonked out for probably about ten hours. I'm putting it down, at least partially, to a busy week or two catching up to me all at once. So this week's review is up a little later and may be a little shorter than usual.)
This week's Short Story Sunday comes to us courtesy of an absolutely fantastic app called Great Jones Street. It bills itself as "The Netflix of Fiction", and rightly so - you'll find hundreds of brilliant short stories, of many different lengths, genres, and styles (for free!!). It's a wonderful way to find new authors, and get a fiction fix without having to shell out for a collection. I'm not sponsored by Great Jones Street, but if you search for my name, you'll find a few stories by me floating about, and I loved working with them (and hope I can again sometime!) "Tooth, Tongue and Claw" is something I found while browsing the "Fairytale" section, and I thought it was a really interesting take on the Beauty and the Beast tale - especially with the new Disney version coming out.
As part of an ancient tradition, a nameless girl is given as a peace offering/slave/bride to a monster that lives outside her town. She is not the first, and is not expected to be the last. She has her tongue cut out, and she is led away in chains. As her time in the cave goes by, she discovers she was told many lies about the creature, meant to placate and reassure her. But she is determined not to die as her predecessors have.
This story is definitely not a love story. The monster has no gentle side; even when he is convinced not to touch the girl against her will, the beast essentially sulks around the cave where he keeps her prisoner. Their union is a battle of wills, neither willing to submit to the other. And, both metaphorically and literally, it is our protagonist who transforms - there is no handsome prince lurking under the surface. This is a great story about revenge, struggle, and the lies that we are told by those we are meant to trust. You can download the app and read "Tooth, Tongue and Claw" for free here.
See you back here during the week - hopefully when I'm less achey!
Musings on my life as a writer.