Mysterion, July 2020
“You Shall See Him in the East” by Frederick Gero Heimbach
“The Woeful Tale of Sir Banana” by Rachael K. Jones
Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf
In “You Shall See Him in the East” by Frederick Gero Heimbach, a pale-skinned, blue-eyed Jesus of gigantic size appears on the horizon, as seen from everywhere on Earth. The President of the United States and his staff struggle with how to greet the figure’s pending arrival. A small gray mark on the apparition’s ear provides a clue that it is other than it seems.
Told from the point of view of a Hindu, the story provides an interesting outsider’s look at Christian themes. The stereotypical nature of the image of Jesus, combined with the seeming imperfection of the gray mark, may allow some readers to predict the ending.
The narrator of “The Woeful Tale of Sir Banana” by Rachael K. Jones is the pilot of a cargo ship, making deliveries between Earth and Moon. When his vessel’s systems fail, he is trapped in space, with only zero-calorie energy drinks, spoiled milk, and rotting fruit to sustain him. While waiting for rescue, hungry and overdosing on caffeine from the energy drinks, he composes a whimsical fairy tale for his young niece, involving anthropomorphic fruit.
There are many different levels of narrative in this story, weaving around each other in a complex fashion. The narrator describes his plight, composes his improvised tale, directly comments on it, hallucinates, addresses himself in the second person, and so on. The Voice of God is sometimes a character in the fairy tale, sometimes himself, sometimes the silent deity to whom he prays as he faces death. This sophisticated narrative technique is the most interesting part of the story, as the basic plot is actually quite simple.
Victoria Silverwolf likes fruit.