By Margaret Atwood
Those brief fictions and prose poems are superbly strange: bread can now not be considered healthy comforting loaves; the pretensions of the male chef are subjected to a loght roasting; a toxic brew is concocted through cynical 5 yr olds; and realizing whilst to forestall is of lethal value in a video game of homicide at the hours of darkness.
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Additional info for Murder in the Dark: Short Fictions and Prose Poems
They’ll say. Monotonous, you’ll say. There was a lot of chicken. Don’t eat the salads, you’ll get the glotch. Don’t drink the water. PALENQUE I am afraid of heights but not of small dark spaces. You are afraid of small dark spaces but not of heights. What better place for us to go? Tonight it’s chicken, pollo, the first word I learned, in chocolate sauce, and French fries, which like dandelions have infiltrated everywhere. We pay double what the man sitting next to us pays. He’s not only local but the police chief, he keeps his revolver on while he eats.
MURDER IN THE DARK This is a game I’ve played only twice. The first time I was in Grade Five, I played it in a cellar, the cellar of a large house belonging to the parents of a girl called Louise. There was a pool table in the cellar but none of us knew anything about pool. There was also a player piano. After a while we got tired of running the punchcard rolls through the player piano and watching the keys go up and down by themselves, like something in a late movie just before you see the dead person.
The only authentic ending is the one provided here: John and Mary die. John and Mary die. John and Mary die. *** So much for endings. Beginnings are always more fun. True connoisseurs, however, are known to favour the stretch in between, since it’s the hardest to do anything with. That’s about all that can be said for plots, which anyway are just one thing after another, a what and a what and a what. Now try How and Why. BREAD Imagine a piece of bread. You don’t have to imagine it, it’s right here in the kitchen, on the bread board, in its plastic bag, lying beside the bread knife.