Mysterion, November 2020

Mysterion, November 2020

“Omnipotent Marble” by Patrick Doerksen

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

“Omnipotent Marble” by Patrick Doerksen consists of a series of short, surreal scenes involving a married couple, their three children, and a dog. The father uses a gun to kill a real monster under one child’s bed. Two pet gerbils discuss escaping. The dog eats books, becomes educated, and talks. A chess game evolves new pieces, each more powerful than the previous one. Ghouls threaten to invade the family home. A rather violent guardian angel shows up to protect the daughter from her older brothers.

The intent of this strange story is obscure, but it seems to have something to do with change and loss. (The author’s afterword is helpful.) In particular, an important aspect of the plot is the oldest child’s passage through adolescence into young adulthood. The author creates interesting situations and a true sense of weirdness, but readers are likely to remain puzzled.

Victoria Silverwolf is a lousy chessplayer.