This collection continues to get slightly darker mixing a commentary of the upwardly mobile with some old fashioned curses.
The Cut-Glass Bowl
A woman who has been given a cut-glass bowl by a former lover because it describes her as being cold, see through and beautiful to look at starts to suffer ill fortune. The bowl is always involved and as her fortunes dip the curse seems to stretch to her family and they are maimed by the bowl and the news of their death via telegram is inevitably put in the bowl for safe keeping.
This is dark and the element of the supernatural slightly disturbing. Of course Benjamin Button is hardly based on fact but this is the darkest tale so far in this collection. Add some more macabre details about the house, heavy blood red curtains etc and some howling wind and it wouldn’t sit too uncomfortably in a Poe collection.
The Four Fists
A clever story about the way a man’s destiny was shaped by four punches in the face. Each time he over steps the mark he is thumped and each time it almost immediately brings him to his senses. As a result he become caring, compassionate and is able to empathise with others.
As the fists fly so the character improves. Not medicine I suspect that would benefit all of us.