There was a portal—a hole in the rock face—behind the icefall—around the sculpture of the centaur. And if you go through the portal, you reach "yesterday" according to one of E. J. McFall's modern-day fairy tales. She asks, "Given the chance, what would you change about your past? Your career choice? Your mate? Your children? What would you do or not do if you had it all to do over again?" Like falling into yesterday. Similar to most fairy tales, the outcome is not always certain. Something can, and usually does, go wrong.
Sisters Odd gives us seventeen different stories, each of which brings new thoughts about the environment, depression, visions, death, enigmas, fairies, faith, surrogate mothers, the power of the universe, and much more. There's something for everyone. The best part may be the lessons we can learn from these tales about nonconformists. Like one of the characters who is bored... most bored... really, truly, exceptionally bored. More bored than any human being has ever been in the history of boredom. So she decides to create an enigma in her town. After reading this particular story, I began to wonder if that's not how a lot of unexplainable mysteries start. Perhaps we are alone in the cosmos.
As McFall writes, "Even if we do manage to go back in time, we don't have any guarantee that we'll make our lives better. We could just make matters worse." What to do? It's like falling into the abyss.
Each one of these "fairy tales" gave me pause. I couldn't tell what was going on, but then there would be a lesson at the end. It made for interesting reading, something out of the ordinary. A treat for those of us who are, or want to be, nonconformists.
E. J. McFall is the author of Eternal Café and Shallow Grave and Other Tales. She is editor of and contributor to WomanScapes, an anthology of short stories by women authors. McFall also appears as The Clerk in The Insomniac Tales by Chaucer's Women, a feminist re-visioning of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Visit her website.
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