Reviewed by Michelle Ristuccia
“A Careful Fire” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam is a morbid fantasy tale of a naive servant, Mabella, who is courted and maltreated by her master, which then drives her to abandon her humanity in search of the starry skies that the winged people fly. Mabella’s obsessive quest is a bloody story of the disillusionment and despair of a broken spirit.
In “Unearthly Landscape by a Lady” by Rebecca Campbell, the narrator is a governess who regrets ignoring her former charges’ paranormal peculiarities. As the narrator describes young Flora’s demonic paintings of an alien dimension, she bemoans her own inaction and resolves to approach her next strange protege differently, leaving the reader to imagine how well or terribly that might turn out.
Michelle Ristuccia enjoys slowing down time in the middle of the night to read and review speculative fiction, because sleeping offspring are the best inspiration and motivation. You can find out more about her other writing projects and geeky obsessions by visiting her blog.