At Flashes in the Dark: “The Jar” by Olivia Wilding

“The Jar”  Follow the link to the flash horror “The Jar” by Olivia Wilding.  This is an interesting tale, primarily for its point of view:  frominside the narrator’s head that describes his emotions to the events around him and to the actions he takes.  This is not unusual in itself, but here it is done very well and it manages to transmit what Henry James called “the atmosphere of the mind” to the reader.  The voice has a haunting quality.  I wish I had the time to write a thesis on what makes for a haunting narration such as this one, but I don’t.

Girl Washing Hands, 1911

Girl Washing Hands, 1911

There is something in the combined sequence of actions and emotions that stirs certain dark emotions in the readers psyche, perhaps it’s something archetypal, Jungian.   For me, this has always been the most effective means of instilling horror into a readership.  If it didn’t start with Poe, it must have started in his era.

Second, it has an interesting twist at the end, which the author never gives away or hints at in the story.  This is hard to do  and it is done here well.

Lastly,  the story is a combination of two different types of horror:  the physical act of violence and the moral disgust it generates (when revealed) and the twisted relationship revealed at the end.  All in all, this story has a very good denouement.

Please take the time to read “The Jar”.  You won’t regret it.

Don’t read it, if you have something against well-chosen, strong language.

Thoughts? Comments?



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