Fiction Friday: The Bone Flute Quartet

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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 The Bone Flute Quartet by K.J. Kabza.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #277 by [Kabza, K.J., Duncan, R.K.]

Hello, Witches and Warlocks. Time for our newest short story after an unusually long absence. Life got in the way, but we’re back and ready for some magic. Today’s short story is The Bone Flute Quartet by K.J. Kabza. You can find it here. This time, we have a fairy-tale type story about a girl wanting to be a witch. Ah yes, magic in a world where such is forbidden. Brooms, cauldrons, pointy noses, green skin, warts…okay we could do with out those, but maybe keep the broom.

Anyway, let’s get our magic on.

Witches and Bone Flutes

The story follows Bretchen, a child seeking to be a witch, when her family tells the tale of Myrra Ferrinn, a witch who was executed for her criimes and Bretchen’s parents having one of her bone flutes. In order for her to become a witch, the child must find clues leading to her location and her numerous bone flutes. But can she prove herself as a witch and achieve her dream?

This was a fun story to read and every bit of magical as I would expect. The story flowed smoothly and wasn’t too bumpy in places, plus all of the characters were unique in their own way. Bretchen is an innocent, yet tough girl who only wants to prove herself to everyone. She fully embraces the idea of being a witch and will stop at nothing to achieve it.

Watching Bretchen go through the story felt like the journey I’ve always wanted to embrace. To find some powerful artifact and get my dreams fulfilled. The concept of magic in a world where magic is frowned upon (not to mention being executed for them), is always a favorite of mine, taking what’s ordinary and make it magical, so to speak.

I appreciate the first person storytelling where it feels almost magical, like Bretchen is taking you on a journey. You stumble across her in the woods and she tells you a story. It’s vivid and truly encapsulates what the world looks like. Bretchen’s journey is more or less a journey of self, a coming of age tale where she must prove herself against the forces of magic and those who stand against her.

I do feel that the story felt too easy for her, since she snuck into the castle, stole a bone flute, and is whisked away. Granted, fairy tales aren’t as complex as most stories and are often simplistic in nature, so it kind of gets away with it. It definitely feels magical enough and is more or less designed to spin a tale. Still, seeing her complete these tasks with little resistance, even if the end antagonist did take some clever work to beat them, perhaps some sort of pushback, even small, would help.

And aside from that, I didn’t feel like anything was wrong with the story, even in its simplicity. It’s short enough to be entertaining, it’s filled with magic, and it definitely follows the fairy-tale formula. I appreciate that much when it comes to stories. No hard messages, no complexity, no nonsense, just a good tale for a night in. It’s everything I could ask for.

Talking about Bretchen quick, she’s an admirable character. Not one for giving up, always in it to win, and understood the trials put forth for her. She somehow doesn’t follow the typical fairy-tale tropes, especially being the damsel in distress like so many others before it. In fact, I admire the author for doing this and making a fairy-tail for a new generation. I mean, Snow White, Little Mermaid, Rapunzel, Most of the Grimm’s fairy-tales, they are classics for their time. I feel this would be appreciated for the fact that it feels like a worthy fairy-tale in such a new generation where representation is important, and that includes fairy-tales.

While it shouldn’t be the standard, I feel this and many others like it are what gives fairy-tales a new life, and I’m excited to see how this could change. Maybe in a hundred years, instead of Snow White, we’d be talking about The Bone Flute Quartet and The Hollow Tree. I have a feeling that we’d see more such stories being celebrated and remembered nowadays. Not to say the Grimm stories won’t matter, but it’s not too much harm for some fresh tales. After all, can’t keep reading the same old classics forever.


Final thoughts

This is a wonderful fairy tale about the desire to become a witch and a journey to make dreams come true. If you’re looking for a fairy-tale that wants to tell a tale, spin some magic, then this story won’t let you down.

+ A fairy-tale for the modern age.
+ Magic
+ Simplicity done right.
– A little more resistance would help.

Final Score:
4/5 – Good story.

That’s all for today. If you liked this post and want to see more, I have a Ko-Fi page set up. Why spend three bucks on a Starbucks Coffee when you can help support hard-working authors like me? Every bit helps and keeps me going. So thank you, and remember, the inn is always open.

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