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A lot of readers are having trouble placing my story “Untethered” within the works of Brothers Grimm, so I just want to reiterate that it was inspired by a very short (and apparently very obscure) tale called The Shroud. You see, I was curious if the Grimm Brothers had ever dealt with ghosts, and it turned out that they had. TWICE. (“The Stolen Pennies” is the other ghost tale.) And it was Philip Pullman’s commentary on these stories in Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm that prompted my own version. [WARNING: this commentary isn’t that spoilery, but if you want to be spoiler-free before reading the story, you might skip the next paragraph.]
Each of these tales is straightforward and pious. They are pure ghost stories, but their intention is not to make us shiver so much as to point a simple moral. The belief system they come from is almost pre-Christian: the dead deserve their rest, and the living can help them find it; excessive grief is self-indulgent; sin must be atoned for. Once the human action has been taken, the supernatural withdraws. (322)
With “Untethered,” I wanted to address the issue of ghosts and grief while at the same time adding in some of the shivers that were lacking in the original. I hope you enjoy it! And don’t forget the Blog tour with giveaways.