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Marcasite Waves by Miladysa

 

Short stories with a variety of themes, including hauntings, madness, lost love.


A collection of stories, no longer online

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Listed: Oct 6, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

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Like the powder of a dying gem…

By Sarah Suleski, editor, author of Sidonie

Feb 19, 2009: I was intrigued by the name of this collection because I had no idea what “Marcasite” was and after reading through the seven available stories I’d received no hints. A trip to a site found through Google enlightened me—it’s either a soft stone or a pyrite gem, and one line about the stone caught my fancy: “Eventually, a piece of marcasite will completely deteriorate into white powder.”

I have no idea what the author’s intention was when she named the collection, but I found this description of marcasite to aptly illustrate one of the overriding themes of Marcasite Waves. There is a bittersweet, melancholy air to most of the entries, which deal with (or allude to) growing old and dying. One is the story of a haunting, and like the white powder, the strange happenings are the only trace left of whoever, or whatever, once lived in that spot.

The longest story in the collection, “Happenings” is perhaps not even a fiction at all. It’s a wonderful description of the mysterious events that happened from time to time in the narrator’s home. It is not told with any sort of histrionic or sensational tone—there’s no blood dripping from walls or Indian burial grounds triggering the happenings. Each event is innocuous enough, though increasing in the disturbing nature, and the resolution to it all is fairly simple and devoid of action and peril. But it is this very credible, real-world feel to the whole thing which kept my rapt attention. The author’s storytelling made me gape at each mysterious noise or movement she described, as if it was something that had happened in my own home. How much more unsettling is a hint of believable ghostliness than any contrived violent terror.

“The Madness of Me” is the second, and second-longest, tale. It is a dialogue-only exchange between a person and someone who may be a therapist or a doctor, or simply an interviewer. It ends somewhat abruptly, though I found the four parts to be compelling.

“The Laying of Ghosts” is an atmospheric tale about past love. Unfortunately, even after reading it three times, I could not really grasp what was going on or who was speaking/thinking at any given moment. I’m afraid this one went over my head.

“Coal Black” and “Memories of a Lost Childhood” are poems.

“Butterfly Whispers” is quite short, and with an interesting mid-story twist. It left me feeling thoughtful. I can’t say more about it, since I think it would ruin it to lay out what exactly it was about.

The final tale, “Twisted,” is a Hallowe’en inspired flash piece. I liked the way it played out, and the indefinite ending worked quite well with the story’s theme of being lost.

The site was last updated in October of ’08, and I don’t know if any more stories are planned, but I enjoyed what is available. I would have preferred the font size to be a bit larger, but the overall look of the site is very nice, with a lovely banner image.

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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Short and bittersweet

By G.S. Williams, author of No Man An Island

Oct 7, 2008: "Marcasite Waves" contains short little vignettes. One is a short story with no dialogue, while another is entirely dialogue (apparently between a therapist and patient) and no scenery or narrative. There’s poetry as well. The overall tone of the entire site is melancholic, as the pieces deal with hauntings, loneliness, and the paranormal. If you like spooky atmosphere, it’s worth checking out.

I’m not personally a big fan of short stories, I like longer narratives. But these manage to give you things to wonder about as you go along, maintaining some interest. I find the author’s style a little slow going, often rambling unnecessarily through sentences and paragraphs. At first I thought it was one narrator’s particular "voice," as though absentminded, but the same is true of the other stories I’ve looked at.

All in all, I’d like to see what this writer could do with a bigger project, instead of just snapshots of their creativity.

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