Shadowed Realms, March/April 2006

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“And on the Third Day” by Greg Beatty
“Live and Dream” by Ivan Belachich
“The Sidpa Bardo” by Nathan Burrage
“Body of Fred” by Kurt Newton
“Sleepless” by Nathaniel James Parker
These stories are short, but pack a punch.  The subjects they tackle aren’t small: the nature of God or the spiritual structure of the universe, the inner workings of the mind, perceptions of reality, moral dilemmas.  Whether or not they mesh with your own world-view, all offer food for thought.

“And on the Third Day” by Greg Beatty has it all: a bizarre interpretation of scripture, necrophilia (suspected), a casual murder, and a new way to gain instant health, strength, and general well-being.  Let’s hope it doesn’t catch on.


“Live and Dream” by Ivan Belachich is a sad but touching picture of a man trapped in his own mind following a traumatic accident. 

“The Sidpa Bardo” by Nathan Burrage takes a look at life after death.  Whatever your personal belief on the subject, the emotional agony of a man in transition is the stuff of which dreams (nightmares, that is) are made of.

In “Body of Fred” by Kurt Newton, a literally self-sacrificing priest provides religious comfort to the survivors of an unnamed disaster.  Is he divinely inspired or schizophrenic?  You decide.

Ever been so tired and sleep-deprived that you’d do almost anything just to get some rest?  “Sleepless” by Nathaniel James Parker offers a look inside the mind of an insomniac, who has an unfortunate tendency to violence when he’s overly tired.  He really doesn’t want to hurt anyone.

Mercy killing or megalomania?  “Blood-Spattered Notes from the Reverend’s Last Sermon” by Lon Prater takes a look at the teachings of a clergyman who preaches an omniscient and omnipresent but disinterested and powerless God, and proclaims the concepts of good and evil and all morality to be meaningless.  The reverend should have read Galatians 6:7.

What does a peaceful man do when there’s no non-violent way to protect the innocent?  “A Lifetime of Nightmares” by Brian Rappatta features a reluctant hero faced with a difficult choice.  The reader is left to speculate whether the thing-about-to-be-born is the Antichrist or some alien BEM, but the danger is apparent.