Diabolical Plots #41, July 2018
“Crimson Hour” by Jesse Sprague
Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf
This month’s issue offers both tragedy and comedy.
“Crimson Hour” by Jesse Sprague opens with a butcher flaying the body of a unicorn. In this fantasy world, unicorns are very dangerous animals. A wandering hero slew the unicorn, but only after it killed the son of the butcher. The butcher blames him for the loss of his child. His profession requires him to prepare the unicorn’s heart as a reward for its slayer. This only increases his bitterness. During an unexpected encounter, the butcher learns the truth about the hero and his son. Although some aspects of the setting will seem familiar to readers of fantasy, others are more original. The story has a powerful emotional impact.
“Jesus and Dave” by Jennifer Lee Rossman takes place after the Second Coming. The narrator was an atheist. Although he admits he was wrong, he refuses to change his life in any way. To his surprise, Christ shows up at his door, accompanied by two very strange angels. Satan has escaped from inside an ancient jar, and the Messiah needs his help. This religious fantasy is full of jokes that some will find amusing and others blasphemous. The plot serves mostly as an excuse for wisecracks about faith and miracles.
Victoria Silverwolf will not offer any theological opinions at this time.