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the woman with the arctic fox

There's a woman who wears an arctic fox around her neck, a live one. She goes out walking in snowstorms, and if you pass her, it's the fox that greets you, not the woman. Sometimes it says innocuous things

Some weather we're having
Stay warm
Careful; there's black ice

Other times it tells unsettling jokes with punchlines you can't understand (Did you hear about the man who lost his mind? He was a bellwether, and thirty feasted. Thirty! Hahahaha)

And other times it just makes stray remarks that may be madness or may be prophecy, and if you run to write them down, you find the words have faded, and if you try to put them from your mind, they're all that you can think, a tune with nonsense words you can't escape.

(continued, briefly)


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2016 07:32 pm (UTC)
Ooooh. Uh-oh.

There's something uncanny about even those first few possible remarks; particularly if it says them one after another, perhaps with a little pause in between as if you're supposed to answer. But what do you say when a fox speaks to you? Most people meeting the woman with the fox around her neck must be silent from sheer surprise.

And you wonder, also, if there really is black ice - or if that is also the fox's idea of a joke.
Dec. 18th, 2016 10:11 pm (UTC)
You've clearly met the fox and the woman! People have been known to remember they left something back at the house when they see them ahead in the snowy distance.
Dec. 18th, 2016 08:39 pm (UTC)
Are you going to write that story? Please? Please?
Dec. 18th, 2016 10:12 pm (UTC)
I think this snippet is the whole of it for right now ;-)
Dec. 18th, 2016 10:47 pm (UTC)
Except, there's this, too.
Dec. 18th, 2016 08:56 pm (UTC)
As a little girl I wanted to be a fox when I grew up. I believed you could be anything
Dec. 18th, 2016 10:13 pm (UTC)
That's what they told us! "You can be anything." So why not a fox?
Dec. 18th, 2016 10:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you
Dec. 18th, 2016 10:47 pm (UTC)
My pleasure!
Dec. 18th, 2016 10:29 pm (UTC)
"Did you hear about the man who lost his mind? He was a bellwether, and thirty feasted. Thirty! Hahahaha"

Because of this, I'm imagining him talking in an exaggerated Romanian/Hungarian accent.

Edited at 2016-12-18 10:29 pm (UTC)
Dec. 18th, 2016 10:48 pm (UTC)
Dec. 18th, 2016 11:18 pm (UTC)
What a graceful, evocative flash--letting the reader take the story anywhere, from running to flight, or to magic.
Dec. 19th, 2016 12:13 am (UTC)
Yeah; I like just brief scenes like this partly for exactly that reason.
Dec. 19th, 2016 02:18 am (UTC)
Dec. 19th, 2016 03:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading! (And I love your icon ;-)
Dec. 21st, 2016 09:11 am (UTC)
I like this unsettling story (both its parts!) very much. I think the Lady was more the Fox than she allowed herself to know.
Dec. 21st, 2016 04:06 pm (UTC)
I think the Lady was more the Fox than she allowed herself to know.

yes, sort of a "you-are-the-thing-that-rides-you" way, maybe. In that respect, a warning about what we let consume us. (Just mulling over this now--I hadn't intended it that way, but that's the great thing about sharing an idea or story--other people have insights to add.)
Dec. 22nd, 2016 12:27 am (UTC)
Or the other way round - that she put that part of herself outside of herself, to not recognise it. And that is what gave the Fox her life, maybe? Ooohh... so much lovely idea to play with!
Two stray thoughts:
- Andersen's story of the Shadow, which could possibly be seen as in the same general world as this. (only very tangentially, though.)
- I once saw a veteran actress performing the cllimactic scene of Lady into Fox, a play from a Vietnamese folk-tale (or traditional Vietnamese theatre, rather). It was amazingly real (all done in gesture and expression) and horribly moving.
Dec. 23rd, 2016 02:51 pm (UTC)
that she put that part of herself outside</i> of herself, to not recognise it.</i> --YES. This is definitely something I've witnessed, and something I've been guilty of myself, too.

all done in gesture and expression --when someone captures an animal's signature moves, it can be really persuasive. I can imagine it with a cat, or a dog. I think it would be harder with a fox because I don't know so much about how a fox moves, but I can imagine it would be fluid and sharp and wary, all at once.
Dec. 23rd, 2016 10:20 pm (UTC)
... fluid and sharp and wary, all at once.

Yes, all of those, and in this case also anguished, because she had been cruelly tricked out of her hard-won human-ness, and could feel herself reverting, and was fighting it all the way.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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