I really didn’t love the style of writing in this short story. But something about the tale really struck me. And lingered. For a long time afterwards. There was just something joyfully haunting and super weird about this tale that leaves it ingrained in my mind’s eye.
I’ve just finished reading Lee’s Red as Blood collection. So I was kind of expecting something much, much darker than this story. It was incredibly lustful and intense in some ways, but it definitely wasn’t something I would call dark. There was also a point at the end which hints that they could, in fact, live happily ever after.
I can spend hours staring at one poem, pulling apart each nuance and meaning. It’s something I’m far more likely to do than when there is prose around. This poem made me so uncomfortable that I didn’t do that this time. After all, it’s in the Alien Sex collection, so it’s not going to be a comfortable story.
I swear it’s the human condition – we always want what we just can’t have. It seems to be the number one thing that leads people to make some incredibly stupid decisions. It also seems to be the thing to that drives people to become greater versions of themselves. A double-edged knife. One that is a great theme to follow throughout this story. And was probably way too relatable at this point in my life.
The introduction to this short story highlights that this is one of the authors lighter pieces. However, since this whole collection has been a little twisted and not what I would consider light… I was a little unsure as to whether this would be true. It turns out that this is quite a light-hearted and fun story about alien sex. One that had me laughing throughout quite merrily.
This story started out simple enough. Woman thinks husband is drifting from her. Starts to believe that he’s having an affair. Then it starts to get weird, dark and twisted. And their daughter is pulled into the crazy. It very quickly becomes quite an uncomfortable story and anything but normal.
Everything in life has a cost. Sometimes the cost is worth it, sometimes you discover afterwards, not so much… and this short story highlights that even arousal comes at a cost. Most of the time it’s one we’re willing to pay, but in the case of this story… she really isn’t willing to pay for what she gets. And it becomes quite tragic quickly after this.
This story is twisted, lustful and deeply disturbing. It talks a bit about the college experience… but I don’t EVER want to experience this version of college. So damn not okay. So damn twisted. And that was my thoughts at the beginning. Those feelings intensify drastically when you read the ending. I actually had to close my eyes and go to my happy place at the ending…
At first I thought this story wasn’t such a ridiculously uncomfortable tale… especially considering that it’s in the Alien Sex collection. And then, when I stopped reading and actually thought about it… I kind of realised that it’s probably one of the more uncomfortable stories that I’ve read so far. Because it’s subtle. And you don’t quite realise how sick it is until you finish it and move onto something… dare I say it, more “normal”.
This short story kind of ruined Tarzan for me. It was disturbed, kind of disgusting and really, really weird. Not something that I plan to ever read again. Not the kind of story that I would allow my children to read. But also way more realistic than the Disney version I know (I haven’t got around to reading the classic yet). Which is probably why I found it so sickening – the realism made me go “huh” this is what probably happened, not the nice version with Jane.