Fiction Friday is a series where I talk about what I’ve been reading. Short Stories (and sometimes Novellas) are featured as in-between posts and the first Friday of the month will feature a new novel review. Today, I review The Queen of the Peri Takes Her Time by Corey Flintoff.
Fiction Friday: The Queen of the Peri Takes Her Time
Today’s short story is The Queen of the Peri Takes Her Time, by Corey Flintoff, as featured in Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine. You can find it here. Middle Eastern Mythology is something rarely seen here at the inn, and I can’t pass up a genie story. This one is written by someone not of Arab descent, but someone familiar with its history.
I’ve said previously that anyone can write any type of story with any character they choose, and this one I feel showcases the care that’s required for making Arab characters that aren’t just the default “let’s make them terrorists” trope. Something I’d love to see more of.
So, let’s begin.
Take your time
This story is about a man who encounters a mysterious woman, one potentially of myth, who inflicts a race car driver with a mysterious curse that weakens his confidence and causes him to fear driving. He visits a man who encountered this “queen of the Peri,” Faiz Mungummery Khan, who lost his arm after committing adultery when he promised not to. Their only hope lies with a mysterious genie, something none of them would have considered.
This story was fun to read. A tale reminiscent of the whole Arabian Nights of long ago. Yet it has sort of a modern day twist that makes it unique. Seeing a story with so few characters be so concise and yet tell a complete tale from beginning to end. Almost like watching a movie or an episode of a show.
The story starts off with how Faiz lost his hand, and how it passes on into today’s story. When I read this, I first thought this was an ancient tale, and this guy was someone who would have connections to our hero but turns out it was gossip spread by the people in Dubai.
It starts out perfectly normal, but it gains a bit of mysticism along the way. Our hero imagines this peri as just another person, but it’s more of a curse befallen upon him. A spirit that won’t go away. I’ve read similar stories and this one keeps the mystery going. Knowing who, or what, this queen of the peri is and how it connects these two together is a good mystery that kept me reading.
Myths and The Mysterious Djinn
The mythical aspects weren’t too outlandish either. Even with the djinn, he appeared as if this were a common thing. Because, big, naked, red guys coming out of wells in the basement of a hotel is perfectly normal. Yet, it felt like something that could exist.
I like how the djinn mentions that magic is something humans come up with, yet the djinn doesn’t see himself as magical, just an ordinary creature with his own skills. His illusion was like nature, something humans can’t comprehend, so it’s magic.
While I won’t give away the whole story, I do like how the ending incorporated the hero’s experience as a race car driver. That’s one profession we don’t see often represented in stories like this, so it’s nice to have that bit of a creative touch to something that’s global like Indy car racing (not necessarily NASCAR)
This is also a story that I feel is complete as is. Most short stories I’ve read could always be longer, but I felt this was the perfect length. It’s nice to see that kind of middle ground between a story like this and one that needs more to be entertaining. I feel like I know enough about the characters to get a feel for this story.
And that’s about it, really. I liked this story because it told me a complete tale that has that perfect blend of myth and reality. I like modern day stories that have that magical flair and this didn’t disappoint. I have plenty of mythologies I’m interested in, and middle eastern myths happen to be one of them. It’s hard to put them in any order, but I do have a soft spot for things like this, especially ancient Egyptian myths.
So check it out if you’re looking for something different.
That’s all for today. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.
If you have any suggestions for future topics and reviews, hit me up on my social media channels and let me know your thoughts. I always read the feedback, even if I don’t respond. Your feedback is what keeps me going, so thank you for supporting me.
My Japanese Mythology-inspired short story, Do Not Stare Into The Eyes Of A Kitsune, is finally available. You can buy it on Amazon or wherever ebooks are sold. Help a debut author make his debut worth it.
My next work will be titled “City of Kaiju,” a tale about an unlikely alliance between a young girl and her gigantic dog-dragon monster, as they survive chaos and disaster from a gigantic kaiju invasion. Part of a new Short Novel initiative, intended to fill in the gap between releases. Set for release within the Fall 2018/Winter 2019 period. Read more about it here.