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Real vs. Unreal: Thoughts on TwiceAlive’s “Fantastic”

Fantastic” is the second short story that TwiceAlive published on his blog. This one is a bit strange; in which it deals with a surreal incident happening within our scope of reality, but that’s what makes it “fantastic.” This story is about a man wandering around and he catches a glimpse of a girl. He starts chasing after her, but she disappears. The man eventually comes across a talking fox, and discusses the human condition with the fox.

First of all, I would like to say that it is cool how TwiceAlive linked the other short story, “Only When It Rains,” with this one. The two male characters are friends.

The surreal part of this reality is how the male protagonist was able to communicate with a fox. Personally, I think the man was talking to himself, and was having an internal, stream of consciousness kind of dialogue. I was intrigued with the type of dialogue that the fox and man were having though. I mean, the fox does say something philosophical:

We are all part of the same world, yet only some of us are willing to look at things we can’t always understand. Your kind is like that. They love to think, to understand everything and anything. They want everything to make sense to them and fit into their realm of reason.

To a degree, of course. But what about those things that you cannot grasp? The events and sights that cannot be measured and calculated by your methods of understanding? Those things become meaningless to you, it seems. Therefore, you don’t see them.

I agree with this statement. Humans seek knowledge and understanding; hence when something is unexplainable or unreasonable, they get frustrated when there is no logic behind it, and cannot accept it as truth. These things are the “fantastic” because it isn’t something controlled by humans, but instead it occurs by the forces of nature or the universe. If something happens that is man-made or controllable by humans, we are able to grasp the reasoning behind it. When “fantastic” elements occur, these are things that humans tend to disregard because it doesn’t fit into their reality. Personally, I think there are things that cannot be explained by theories or explanations. I try to find logic to things, but there is also a side of me that accepts the surreal at face value.

If I apply this concept to the story, it becomes ironic and possibly invalid. First of all, I accept that the man is talking to a fox. Although it isn’t normal, I accept it because it helps move the plot along. I also feel like the fox is a symbol of the man’s consciousness; in which he is debating within himself what emotions he is feeling for this woman he followed. It is when he talks to the fox that he realizes he loves her. These types of revelations do occur in real life (even without talking to a fox), and it is when one comes to an understanding within himself or herself that the truth comes into light.

However, what kind of got me confused and I couldn’t accept as truth is when at the end, the man and woman meet each other, and confessed their feelings. It is cute, but too perfect. The chance of that ever happening in real life is highly unlikely to me. So what’s supposed to be a real portrayal of love turns into an unrealistic moment. If there was more back story between the man and woman, maybe I would have accept this moment as truth. I mean, I am curious how long these two known each other or if they don’t, how did they know the other one exists. This is some vital information I would need before accepting their confessions. Something like a close encounter (which could be controlled by humans) should have some background story to it. It is ironic though, how talking to a fox could be accepted as real and truth while the encounter of a real life woman seemed to be surreal for me.

Overall, “Fantastic” is an interesting short story. I wouldn’t say it is a favorite, but it gives some food for thought on emotions and the human condition. If you want to read it, click here.

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