4 Stars - Strongly Recommended to readers who appreciate vivid imagery and stories detailing with things you would never have imagined on your own
A revolver pining for a light bulb can only lead to disaster. A woman allows a spider to eat her face as a form of beauty treatment. Reflections that detach themselves from their reflectees.
The flash fiction contained within Kim Parko's Cure All infiltrates your brain like a fever dream. Images of dark hallways and wispy spiderwebs dance through your thoughts as you lose yourself in the unusual worlds she weaves.
Recurring themes appear throughout this collection of twisted realities - morbid, silent morticians gathering around situations; The Curtain, at once protective and deceiving, capitalized as though it is a proper name; and Molly and Bruce, a couple who sometimes hang out with our narrator and move in and out of the collection, like little children, touching everything and always in motion.
For me, when reading stories such as these, I always wonder what the writer was like growing up. Did she stay up late and watch too many scary movies as a little girl? Did she spend a lot of time lost in her own head, troubling out amazing and outrageous universes for her toys when she played with them? Did she jot down her dreams upon waking in the hopes of deciphering their codes? Did she work long, lonely hours on a graveyard shift somewhere where her mind could wander and build these bizarre worlds for her characters to populate? Would I know her just by looking at her?
Whatever the influence...Parko's surreal prose, intense imagery, and grim perspectives make this a collection worth consuming.