When Mystical Creatures Attack! (Iowa Short Fiction Award)

When Mystical Creatures Attack! (Iowa Short Fiction Award)

Kathleen Founds


In When Mystical Creatures Attack!, Ms. Freedman’s highschool English type writes essays within which mystical creatures get to the bottom of the best sociopolitical difficulties of our time. scholars comprise Janice Gibbs, “a feral baby with over the top eyeliner and an anti-authoritarian advanced that will be attention-grabbing have been it now not so ill-informed,” and Cody Splunk, an aspiring author engaged on a time desktop. Following a anxious breakdown, Ms. Freedman corresponds with Janice and Cody from an insane asylum run at the capitalist version of cognitive-behavioral remedy, the place inmates perform water aerobics to rebuild their Psychiatric credits Scores.
 
The lives of Janice, Cody, and Ms. Freedman are printed via in-class essays, letters, healing magazine workouts, an recommendation column, a truth exhibit tv transcript, a diary, and a Methodist women’s fundraising cookbook. (Recipes comprise “Dark evening of the Soul Food,” “Render Unto Caesar Salad,” and “Valley of the Shadow of dying via Chocolate Cake.”) In “Virtue of the Month,” the ghost of Ms. Freedman’s mom argues that suicide isn't a call. In “The Un-Game,” Janice’s chain-smoking nursing domestic cost composes a grimy limerick. In “The corridor of Old-Testament Miracles,” wax figures of Bible characters come to lifestyles, hungry for Cody’s flesh.
 
Set opposed to a South Texas panorama the place cicadas hum and the air smells of taco stands and jasmine vegetation, those tales diversity from laugh-out-loud humorous to achingly poignant. This surreal, exuberant assortment mines the darkish recesses of the soul whereas illuminating the human heart.

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