Gwendy’s Button Box

 

imagesThis little treasure I read in two sittings. How could I not? When I saw it on the library shelf, I was instantly drawn to it. I picked it up and grinned inside and then felt a twinge of fear. It is, after all, a Stephen King story.

I heard the master’s voice lilting in the background as I read—a little Gunslinger drawl—though he had help with this one. Fantasy and horror writer, Richard Chizmar, co-wrote this novella. And it’s illustrated by Ben Baldwin and Keith Minnion. Just look at that cover!

So. Gwendy.

I couldn’t resist the title being that my name is Wendy and I’ve had my own button box forever. Every once in a while I take it out and run my fingers through the buttons. All shapes and colours, some black, some bling. I like the little clattering sound the buttons make as they fall through my fingers. My mother had one before me, and I’ll pass mine on to my daughter. It’s not the same as Gwendy’s though. Mine does not give perfectly detailed and delicious chocolate animals the size of a jelly bean. Or Morgan silver dollars minted in 1851. It doesn’t threaten to blow up continents. Or people. Or places I hate. Or make my life better. Or worse.

And mine was not a gift from Mr. Richard Farris in his black suit and black hat with his blue-eyed charm, and gift of palaver. (Gosh, I love that word, palaver. You’ll find it in my own books.)

He points a finger-gun at her: pow. “That’s a good one. You’re a good one, Gwendy. And while we’re at it, what kind of name is that, anyway?”

“A combination. My father wanted a Gwendolyn—that was his granny’s name—and my mom wanted a Wendy, like in Peter Pan. So they compromised.”

I am also the Wendy of Peter Pan. And though my grandmother’s name was Gertrude, I had a great aunt Gwendolyn who my father loved very much. So who knows? I may have narrowly escaped being named Gwendy myself. I have always wanted to fly and jumped off my dad’s armchair once believing I could. “I do believe in faeries. I do. I do. I do.” A friend to faeries, I thought that was all it took. Alas, with no sprinkle of pixie dust, I fell and injured my ankle. Later, I did take flight. As a hawk.

But back to Gwendy and her button box. Read this book. You will like it. It reminds me a little of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which is on my list of all-time favourite books. And the horror I feared would jump out at me every time I turned a page, never did. So, it’s safe enough—though it might make you think. And that can be dangerous for some people. And, there may be a drop or two of blood spilled before the last page. It did, after all, originate in the mind of the master and his friend. Know what I mean?

 

 

 

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