Like a lot of the short stories in Black Feathers, this tale had a very surreal and uncomfortable quality. It was haunting and kind of beautiful. But there was almost a sense of floating while I was reading this (alright, I can’t think of a better way to describe the experience of reading this short story other than floating…)
This was a great play on the haunting of Heathcliff. It took the ideas and themes that highlight how badly Heathcliff treated Catherine, but twisted them into something a little more contemporary. Rather, it isn’t Catherine’s counterpart which is providing the haunting, but she does encourage it. And finds a way to twist it about so that he isn’t able to get away with his past and present actions.
Well. This didn’t end like I expected it to. At all. But it did end in a great way. Well, not for Wil, but for me and my sick, happy little brain… it ended brilliantly.
I actually found this short story a lot more difficult to put down than the other stories which preceded it in Black Feathers. It still had that slightly dark horror feel to it, but the storyline was a lot more linear than I had expected. Where many other horror stories have an incredibly jumpy and disjointed feel to them, this followed a chronological path and one that made a lot more sense to me. It was a nice change from the more abstract horror short stories I have been reading lately.
This story was intense. I thought that the lead female was going to get offed pretty quickly. After all, it starts with her having an affair. And Jack the Ripper went after promiscuous women… it seemed like a pretty potent parallel. But that really wasn’t the case.
This story gave me the heeby jeebies. Which most of the stories in the Black Feathers collection do. The watching of birds and flashbacks to a past of bullying and abuse gave this story a very disjointed feel. But it isn’t until the end that I start to feel truly uncomfortable. After all, that is kind of horrifying. And it did leave me with some very not-okay dreams.
The flickering between real world observations of the hawks and the dreamscape that the lead character finds himself in creates an incredibly spine tingling (and somewhat confusing) dreamscape across this storyline. It makes feelings of horror and goosebumps come to the forefront as the storyline unfolds. And leaves a feeling of uncanny confusion and, even slight obsession when you turn the last page.
This kind of wigged me out. But in a really good way. To start with, this story was about a man practicing to be a tour guide. Talking about Jack the Ripper, highlighting his crimes and the mystery surrounding the Butcher of Baker Street. Then it becomes far more twisted…
I’m kind of on the fence about this collection. Some of the stories in this were brilliant. Some downright weird. But all were enjoyable. Just not memorable. This is the kind of collection you read for a good, light laugh and something that isn’t going to make you think and linger in your mind’s eye after you’ve finished the story.
I decided to start reading the I Am Heathcliff collection because I was so damn disappointed and frustrated by Wuthering Heights. So, in my slightly twisty mind, I figured that reading a collection of Wuthering Heights inspired stories might help me to understand a little more as to just why everyone seems to love this classic so much. And, although this didn’t highlight why people love the storyline, this short story that started the collection certainly reflected most of my feelings about the storyline.