On The Dragonroad by Timandra Whitecastle, Grimdark Magazine #16, 2018

On The Dragonroad is a fantastical retelling of Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic vision The Road.

In Whitecastle’s vision, a single mother and her young daughter are caught in the midst of a horrible plague that makes them fear everyone that meet due to its contagious nature. The Dragonroad itself is a road that leads up a mountain to the hopes of safety, though why is never quite made clear.

16-monster-1-300x400Similar to The Road by McCarthy, neither the woman or the girl have names. They are just referred to as “the woman,” and “the girl.” The few people they interact with are either dying of plague or starving and have resorted to eating other people–again, a similarity with The Road.

The piece is interspersed with musings on why God would have done this, or even if there is a God. The girl constantly wants to help people who are ill, and the woman is constantly protecting her from the dangers of her own goodness.

This piece is a dark look at a world that has taken a severe turn for the worse. It’s well written with simple and concise sentences, similar to McCarthy’s style. I liked the twist and I like how Timandra Whitecastle made the idea her own. (B-)