K.D. Wentworth’s “Kaleidoscope” is the story of Ally Coelho, who, after retiring to take up a quiet life of gardening at home, begins to experience divergent timelines. One day she rescues a dog, yet her memories also tell her, quite firmly, how the dog died. She goes out to dinner with friends, yet misses the dinner altogether. She goes out on a date with one man named Barry, yet remembers an entirely different one. As the weeks pass, the prismatic effect grows worse, with people — including a whole host of variant Barrys — parading in and out of her life with alarming and confusing frequency. Is Ally going insane, or is the universe just indecisive where she’s concerned? This is a charming, somewhat bittersweet story about how life isn’t just what we make of it, it’s what it makes of us. How Ally and Barry navigate through the minefield of reality’s shifting decisions speaks of a lot about how we handle the many aspects of our own lives. An excellent, thought-provoking story.
Don Webb’s “The Great White Bed” is a creepy, spine-tingling tale of the fateful summer one young man spends at his grandfather’s house. The old man seems to be losing his mind due to age, but the discovery of a mysterious book may be reversing the process. But at what cost to the narrator? Something’s going on, and it’s taking a terrible toll in the process. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to the questions raised in this spooky story. Webb certainly has a knack for invoking uncomfortable reactions, as evidenced by this story.
Originally posted on SF Site, 2007