Sunday, January 23, 2011


Originally uploaded by werewegian
“Icarus” by C.J. Harper. March/April 2011, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

When music professor James Enright loses his wife and daughter in a tragic accident at a bridge it changes his view of fate and the universe. A few months later he starts to have visions of people who have fallen or been thrown off bridges to their death – and the visions are true. Has he been blessed/cursed with psychic powers or is something even worse happening?

I’m not crazy about the plot of this story but I love the language, especially the way Enright links his environment to his agonized feelings. Take this description of his new neighborhood, the Mill District:

Many of these mills exploded from the grain dust that had built up inside them. Destroyed by their own unstable breath. By an unforeseen byproduct of their own existence.

Some of them were rebuilt. Others were left as rubble.

A place of rebirth and ruin.

That is why I moved here.

I knew I’d fit in.

One way or the other.

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