Dragons, Knights, & Angels, November 2006

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“Dragon…Knight…Angel” by Genevieve Cunningham
“Plaque” by ct matthews
“Dragon Stew” by R. L. Copple
“Golddigger”  by D. M. Recktenwalt
"A Higher Goal" by Jenny Schwartz

In “Dragon…Knight…Angel” by Genevieve Cunningham, we are sent on a journey with a deflated knight, Sir Reycott. He spends his days drinking and reliving the old days. He is awakened one morning by a group of old men who remember him for what he was and want him to be that again. Their belief in him is far from moving, and he wants nothing to do with it. Enter the dragon and angel. The author’s writing is technically proficient, and she uses beautiful, archaic language in her dialogue.  This is one writer we should keep an eye out for.

“Plaque” is something of a history lesson on vampires according to ct matthews. It proclaims Cain as the very first vampire and Jews to be their tasteless, less satisfying victims. There is no plot or action for most of the story, just a narrative on what this world is like for our vampiric hero. The real action finally begins at the last part where the main character finds there is always time for love, even at the very end of life.

In “Dragon Stew” by R. L. Copple, an angel tries to convince his boss that he can tackle a difficult assignment on Earth. After a very unconvincing argument, the boss concedes, and allows him to try it. The dragon is a standard storybook specimen except for a twist at the end. A traitorous heart, a willingness to do the right thing, and a well placed moral decision round out the tale.

Mr. Copple’s writing style is a little dated, and the humor is a dash corny, reminiscent of seventies TV shows, complete with time for a laugh track between jokes.  Phrases like “Ricky and Lucy never had fights like this” pull us out of the period, and there were some sentence structure troubles.  Still, with its flaws, something about the story spoke to me.

In a modest story by D. M. Recktenwalt, “Golddigger,” we meet modest Roger who leads a modest life. Until he meets Gordon. This was a fresh change from the fiery beasts, fighting men, and other assorted winged creatures that saturate DKA. “Golddigger” has a tongue-in-cheek attitude, and except for the abrupt and unexpected change in Roger at the end, I enjoyed it, even going back for seconds.

If John Ryan meant for “The Last Day of the Golden Place” to be sad and disturbing, he succeeded. It would have had more impact if we, like the little boy in the story, knew what was going on. There are some beautiful images and an ongoing thread of melancholy, but no reason is given. There’s also no plot, no bad guy, and no good guy, just a confused little boy who loves his home, his mother, and his father. However, the author uses a proficient voice and style for this maudlin work, and the pictures he lays out are vivid, which makes the conclusion heartrending.

While a little rushed and unsatisfyingly short, Jenny Schwartz entertains with “A Higher Goal.”  Pumped full of phrases like “Veronica had learned that grace grew in odd corners,” this was a delight to read. This modern day saga uses fresh and timely humor with a gritty edge and has a finale that will leave you floating on air.