Friday, June 08, 2007

Snow for Flowers, by Leslie Claire Walker

Snow for Flowers
Leslie Claire Walker
Chiaroscuro: Issue 32

Seems to be something of a combination of Snow White and Lot's wife turning to salt, but told from the perspective of a woman named Becca sent by the salt woman inside her crystal coffin to find a boy and bring him back.

Here, where once there had been a thick carpet of grass only clumps remained with their claws dug into crumbs of soil. Where once there had been a circle of palms, only stumps crouched, a reminder that this place had not always been below the surface. In the center of the circle lay a pillar of salt who had once been a woman, inside a crystal coffin.

All the stories the stone men told talked of how she came to them and brought the war with her to our doorstep. But they called her our salvation. Our answer, our end to war. They treated her like a goddess. They said that I’d not yet lived among them long enough to understand.
Leslie Claire Walker's story has a very serious tone to it. There is a war going on and Becca does not want to go above ground to find the boy, but she will anyway. Snow for Flowers is a strong story, a well written story. It does not provide visceral excitement or provide the thrill of reading that some other stories may provide, but Walker delivers a satisfying story. The journey of Becca in to the war torn world which still views our Snow White as a salvation (or a terror, perhaps, depending on what side of the line one falls on) is one which is interesting and not at all overwhelming in the Snow White / Lot's Wife allusion. That's just the backdrop of the story. Becca’s journey is the story.

Not at all what I would have expected, but somewhat satisfying all the same.

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