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The Quiet Boy (Short Story) Review

 

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My Inktober wendigo art from this year.

Who loves wendigo stories? Why, yours truly, of course! πŸ˜‰ To be honest, I love legendary and mythical creatures of all sorts, but wendigos are always a special sort of treat in my book.Β  Needless to say, I am really excited to see the upcoming horror film Antlers, produced by Guillermo del Toro.

For those of you wondering to yourself, WTF a wendigo is, here is your quick Wendigo 101 lesson for the day: A Wendigo is an evil spirit from Native American Algonquian legend that will corrupts anyone who has committed the unforgivable crime of cannibalism. The evil spirit twists the human it is influencing into a monstrous version of themselves with a horrible, never-ending hunger, and a murderous cruelty that knows no bounds. Since these legends originate in Canada and the Great Lakes regions of the United States, it is no surprise that winters were hard where these tales originated. People didn’t always make it through the winter, and hunger can make people desperate enough that they’d do anything to survive, even taking part in an act as taboo as cannibalism. In a lot of ways the legend of the wendigo can be seen as a cautionary tale.

Last week I found out that this movie is actually based off the plot of a short story called The Quiet Boy, written by Nick Antosca, creator of Channel Zero. Always a fan of reading the source material before I watch a movie or show its based on, I tried to look up the story on GoodReads but couldn’t find it. Then I saw over on the Bloody Disgusting website that you could read the entire short story HERE on the Guernica site. So, if you’re interested, check it out.

Anyway, let’s get onto my review for The Quiet Boy, shall we? πŸ™‚

Julia is just starting her teaching career when Teach For America lands her in a small town in the middle of nowhere, where the unofficial town motto is “Hills, Whores, and Liquor Stores.” Definitely not was she was hoping for when she dreamed of being a teacher. Still, our protagonist wants to do right by her fourth graders.

While teaching her kids about storytelling, specifically of the fairy tale and tall tale variety, one of her young students named Lucas catches her attention with the story he is working on. What she initially assumes is going to be another cookie cutter take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, turns out to be something much different altogether, and something far more sinister.

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Drawing from Lucas’ story in the Antlers movie trailer.

Worried for Lucas, she wants to help the boy, and learn more about what his home life might be like. Between the underlying themes in the boy’s story he is writing and the fact that Lucas always comes to school in old clothes, always smells like damp leaves and damp animal fur, and looks to be very underfed, Julia assumes things aren’t great at home. She also worries that Lucas’ father might be a drunk and not taking proper care of him or his younger brother. Her fellow teachers view Lucas as one of those lost cause kids,Β  but Julia wants to help him, and to learn more about what his life at home might be like. Due to how private and protective Lucas is any time she brings up home or his family, Julia decides to pay his home a surprise visit when she is sure he won’t be there. What she discovers is nothing she could have imagined. Things get dark pretty quickly from this point on in the story, but I won’t spoil the fun. πŸ˜‰ It’s a quick read and I provided the link so you can read it if you’re interested in seeing what Julia finds. The story does its own thing with the wendigo legend, and I thought it was interesting the direction it went in.

I’d rate it 4 out of 5 stars, and reading it made me excited to see how it will be adapted into a movie when it hits theaters in April 2020. πŸ™‚

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Inktober 2019: Week 2 Roundup

Screenshot_2019-10-14 Ignited Moth ( ignitedmoth) β€’ Instagram photos and videos(1)
Bailey rocking her new Halloween bandana.

Hello, it’s your resident sick girl here, living her best couch potato life with her trusted fuzzy minion cohort by her side, and we’ve got lots of new Inktober pieces for ya. A whole week’s worth, in fact!

Day 8: The daily prompt was β€œFRAIL” and I took my inspiration from old desiccated mummy faces. I then kind of took it into a more living dead sort of direction and ended up with this:

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Day 9: The daily prompt was β€œSWING” and chose to do a little sketchbook quickie of my girl, Batwoman (Bombshells batter style, of course!) πŸ˜‰

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Day 10: The daily prompt was β€œPATTERN” and I was completely and utterly stumped on this one. I decided to just draw some quick little jack o’lanterns in a pattern of sizes (tall-short-tall-short). Hey, they can’t all be winners, right? πŸ˜›

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Day 11: The daily prompt was β€œSNOW” and at this point I really wanted to up my Inktober game. I took inspiration from the legends of the wendigo since they’re associated with winter/snow.

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Day 12: The daily prompt was β€œDRAGON” and I was feeling sick as a dog at this point, so I *technically* posted this the morning of Day 13, but oh, well. I did start it on the 12th, but NyQuil landed me in bed earlier than I would have intended.

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Day 13: The daily prompt was β€œASH” and I embraced my sickly current state and drew a sickly woman covered in ash.

Day 14: The daily prompt was β€œOVERGROWN” and I went with a wild forest nymph with overgrown, wild red hair and branches growing out of her head because why the hell not?? πŸ˜‰

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Well, that’s this week’s Inktober installment from yours truly. I hope you guys have been enjoying your October so far. There’s plenty of Halloween fun still to be had this month. What fun autumn hijinks have you been up to? What creative stuff are you working on? πŸ™‚