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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 Andromache and The Dragon by Brittany Pladek.
I desire a short story about dragons, don’t you? Of course you do. Today’s short story is Andromache and the Dragon by Brittany Pladek, narrated by Wilson Fowlie. You can find it here. Another wonderful dragon story with a message about wanting and desires. So, let’s begin.
What do you desire?
A massive dragon has come to a small village to make a deal. She will be fed essences of the villager’s desires and if sufficiently fed, they will be spared. Andromache seeks to keep the dragon occupied long enough to feed it so that one day, their deal will be met and she will finally leave the village.
The story has an intricate message about finding what’s meaningful to you and not only that, the story feels like fable that’s full of mysticism and wonder. The dragon returns with a new form each time, whether she’s a tree, or a housing for glass-like sea snails, the dragons is a majestic and beautiful metaphor for our ever changing life.
I do love stories that don’t have to rely solely on violence, drama, or even action. Sometimes, a simple tale can say more than an epic adventure. Not that there’s anything wrong with slaying a few dragons here and there, but I love to see dragons in a more inspiring light than the destructive beasts they tend to be. Sapping a village of desires is a neat concept. It’s reminiscent of those things in Japan that ward off negative emotions, or even dreamcatchers in a way. I feel like there’s some nods to that kind fo philosophy.
The narration, though, tends to be hit and miss. When he plays the voice of the dragon, it’s so deep and monotone that I cringed a few times simply because my ears can’t handle it. It does, however, remind me of the narrator for a game called Stories: Path of Destinies, that had this storybook-type narrator who imitated female voices in a similar manner. That said, I felt the dragon, while clearly imitating it’s hugeness, came off as too monotone for me.
The story itself was fine, with Andromache’s relationship with the dragon and her explanation of the desire of Appreciation being a highlight. I always find it fun to explain certain words to creatures who don’t understand the concept. No doubt if we ever visited aliens, we’d have that sort of issue as well. Plus, while the dragon had ulterior motives, it didn’t seem evil at all, but maybe that’s the idea. The dragon isn’t so much evil as it is just doing what she must to survive.
And so do the villagers. They’re all fading into nothingness by accepting their demise in a glorious manner. People who either flat out cease their daily lives or accept that life isn’t worth living. It’s a clever way to bring in an apocalypse by making an otherwise innocent event a catastrophic one. And I love antagonists what are indirectly causing chaos. Goes to show that a villain doesn’t have to be evil to destroy the world.
It’s a pretty short tale, so not much else to add and no direct issues I can see. All and all, it’s a wonderful tale reminiscent of the many fables and legends told throughout our world. I love stories that let you get away from it all and leave you wanting more. We need more stories like this.
That’s all for today. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.
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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.