“Some Children Wander by Mistake”
The more I analyze this story, the less it creeps me out. Which is good. The first time I read it I actually got chills. Clowns are creepy. Of course the idea that we could be exposed to clowns while in the womb and end up as clowns is pretty darn creepy, too.
But I can argue myself down to understanding that it’s not about exposure to clowns, but about exposure in general. The boy’s parents made the mistake of going to the circus while he was in utero, and it has caused him to be infected. Like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, I found color to be of some importance. Red is the color most mentioned. The red of the womb. This makes the reveal extremely dramatic.
We’re shocked by the initial behavior of the clowns, but when they begin to lick the boy’s face with their rough tongues like a mother cat with her young, the point becomes rather evident. He has emerged from the womb and been cleaned of his fleshy makeup to reveal his birthright. He was born a clown and shall always be a clown, whether he likes it or not. This argument for nature over nurture is a little horrifying, but it makes its point.
“Deep, Dark Green”
Parents can only protect their children so much. They can bury what they believe to be wrong, evil, and destructive, but children will always seek it out anyway. Much of the time, when children are cautioned, it is for the wrong reasons. We over-protect. We caution by our own motives.
Parents try to bury everything from war to gay marriage, but children will find it for themselves and most of the time it doesn’t cause them harm. More, they are offended that their parents kept things from them. In this case, however, the demon was truly a threat. Yet youth sought it out. And the lust devoured them.
“Miss Froome, Vampire”
In a world where far too many vampire tales have been told in the last 15 years, I’m glad that this one was only twelve pages long. I’m also glad that it didn’t result in Miss Froome falling in love with a human and being tormented over her vampiric tendencies. Because I’ve had enough of that.
All the same, I was a little disappointed that she didn’t have what lore says she should. She spends time in the sun, garlic and crosses don’t bother her. She’s seductive as ever, though. And, as a twist, it’s not just blood she wants. She uses the man’s ground bones to fertilize her garden. Tasty, yes?
The sexes are at odds and man’s worth seems to be prevalent. Men are “of use” in this context. They serve as a comparison for Miss Froome’s superior gardening, they serve as sustenance for Miss Froome’s thirst, and they go to provide for her garden. I have to wonder what she does with the organs, though, since she removes them before putting the body through the wine press. Hmmm.