“Climbing Redemption Mountain”
A simple, powerful premise, well thought out and cleanly executed. In his author comment Mikal Trimm calls this (or at least his original version of this) fantasy. But there’s only the one real speculative element, and even that is only subtly speculative: the notion of climbing a mountain to achieve salvation. Sysiphus. Prometheus. Moses on Mt. Zion. Kilimanjaro. It is one of those fundamental elements of story which I most fervently covet, and have such a struggle achieving in my own work: a monumental metaphor. I hold up Borges as the master of this form: the circular ruin, the library as universe, the universe as tiny, unassuming patch of shadow underneath the cellar stairs. But he’s not the only one. Kafka’s cockroach. Hawthorne’s handprint birthmark. The white whale. Foo on fairytale–the foundation of the mythic, the origin of all story and belief on this planet is not fairytale, but monumental metaphor. And to stumble upon a metaphor of such ancient resonance and depth, and recast it in such a way as to grant it an intimate, personal impact on the reader, as Mikal Trimm has done, is what we all ought to be striving for.