It’s Book Review Wednesday again, and boy do I have a treat for you! If you love short stories, this eclectic mix of shorts will be right up your alley…
Once Upon a Dragon
This eclectic collection includes a number of short stories previously published in various anthologies and as single shorts, and some new material. You’ll laugh, shiver and cry.
My Review: 4.5 Stars
I’m not much of a short story guy, but I have to say that I loved these stories. My favorite were the ones about the dragons–sort of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale style, but with hilarious, humorous, and often droll endings.
I never “shivered” as the blurb promises, but I definitely got the feels with the story about the man and his dog. There were a couple I didn’t understand, yet I enjoyed most of the short stories. The only reason it didn’t earn 5 stars was because I reserve that ranking for books I absolutely LOVED. I really enjoyed this (a lot more than I thought I would).
I found no typos, errors, or grammatical mistakes, and the short stories were all well-composed. Definitely an author who knows her business!
Here’s a Taste:
Pete Baxter wasn’t overjoyed when his wife, Janette, brought home a puppy. In fact, not only was he not overjoyed, he was furious. The eight week old puppy was already the size of a kelpie. He shuddered to think what it was going to grow into. Pete had never cared for animals, especially dogs. Their loudness and hairiness offended his prim sense of order; dogs were, he felt, essentially chaotic, and no good would come of it.
“But why, for heaven’s sake, Jan?” he asked her over their dinner, after Ancient Majesty Culainn (“Mummy’s Little Kitchy-boos”) had been fed and put to sleep in the laundry on a pile of old towels. “You’ve never shown the slightest interest in dogs before.”
Janette looked pityingly at him over her Sav Blanc. “Petey, don’t you know it’s all the go now to have dogs? That bitch Sam Wallace has the cutest little Chi-wow-wow,” (she pronounced it like this) “and she takes it everywhere in her handbag.”
“Well, you won’t be able to take this one in your handbag. It would need a suitcase now, never mind when it grows up.”
“Silly! That’s the idea. My dog will be ever so much better than that Wallace bitch’s. Both his parents were Supreme Champions. Just imagine how cool I’m going to look walking down the street with him.”
“What is it, anyway? What breed?” Pete knew little about dogs, and cared less.
“He’s an Irish Wolfhound. And stop calling him ‘it’. Dogs are people too. It’s like having a child. I love him to bits already.”
Unheard, the loved child sent forth a mournful howl from the laundry.
By morning, Ancient Majesty Culainn had cried all night, destroyed a mop and the peg basket, and copiously decorated the laundry floor with various biological products, all of which caused Janette to screech with horror and outrage when she opened the door, which wasn’t until shortly before she planned to meet her friends for lunch. Fortunately, it was one of the cleaning lady’s three days a week, so she swanned off in her sports car without stopping, either to clean up the laundry or to feed Ancient Majesty Culainn, who cried in the boot all the way to the restaurant. Denied entry to the restaurant, he continued to cry for the next three hours, tied up out the front. Janette was very disappointed at her friends’ lack of enthusiasm (Jesus! It’s as big as a horse! No way, get it off me, it’s all slobbery! Oh, yuk, it smells!), returned home in a foul mood and spent three quarters of an hour knocking back vodka martinis and complaining to Pete while he made dinner, kicking Ancient Majesty Culainn away when he tried to play with the tassels on her shoes.
Over the ensuing days, Janette’s enthusiasm for the puppy waned as Ancient Majesty Culainn was successively denied entry to a charity auction, a gallery opening and the beauty parlour. She didn’t look all that cool walking him down the street, either; it was more dragging him by the neck, Pete thought. Within a week, she had stopped taking him for walks and left him to his own devices in the back yard.
About the Author:
Tabitha Ormiston-Smith was born and continues to age. Dividing her time between her houses in Melbourne and the country, she is ably assisted in her editing business and her other endeavours by Ferret, the three-legged bandit.
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