Two days ago I read a short story by writer and hobbyist farmer, Shane Castle. The story was titled, “The Stolen Cloned Mammoth” and it’s the first story in the latest volume in the literary magazine, Indiana Review (vol. 33, No. 2).
In the story, Castle speaks like he’s talking to a friend at a bar. Initially, I felt it was a little too casual and abbreviated for the topic he was addressing, but then it grew on me. It started off:
“Anyway, these two biotech companies were racing to make some super-complicated genetic formula…”
In the first paragraph some scientist talks smack about a rival company on her Facebook page and is killed and to prevent all out war, a peace offering is made in the form of a cloned woolly mammoth. The things people think of right? Whether by accident or design it’s not clear if the gifted mammoth was indeed stolen or simply escaped.
Castle doesn’t just make this local news, it’s a global event as folks, as they do these days, hop on the internet and become amateur detectives. And then there were the commentators – who type random drivel or negative comments about a story until they turn and attack each other without a smear of logic.
If anyone has ever read six or seven of the anonymous comments posted under an online news article, they’d be able to plug into the realistic sounding minutia – the virtual chatter that Castle is able to conjure. I thought it was awesome because not only did the captured quibbling dig at the randomness and hostility anonymity allows, he also included TYPOS!
I was awestruck by Castle’s bravery to dare submit a short story to a lit mag with so many typos! It was genius – reminding me of the lack of proofing due to impatience, excitement, urgency and laziness. I’ve been guilty of this more than a few times.
Castle’s lead amateur basement detective calls the blogosphere to action as an angry and quickly aging mammoth runs wild across the US. He also happens to be the one who writes the most typos. In his attempt to illustrate his keen investigative skill, he claims to have found the wild woolly beast, when in reality his sites were on a sculpture near the La Brea Tar Pits outside a natural history museum that is torched a few days later.
It’s like the country has totally and completely lost its collective mind while the shot up mammoth seeks warm beach sands that relieve his aged joints and the sound of the waves lures him into a place without guns and screaming threads of nonsense.
If you’ve read “The Stolen Cloned Mammoth” (which I suspect most have not), please feel free to ramble below.