A Man Who Dreams: Walton Ford’s “Barbary”

On a foggy, grim October evening in 1913, the famous Barnum’s Circus was transporting its animals and equipment through the cobblestone streets of Leipzig, Germany, when a streetcar collided with one of its carriages. Inside this particular carriage were eight Barbary lions from North Africa, all of whom escaped and disappeared into the mist. For four long hours, wild beasts haunted the city’s dark alleyways, before the lions were hunted down and killed by local police. [...]

The End of Writing, or Ursula Monkton

This is a story about monsters. I met one on a hot summer day on the subway to Coney Island. While listening to an audiobook, 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane' (HarperCollins, 2013), read by its author Neil Gaiman, he gave a name to someone I already knew well: "The thing that called itself Ursula Monkton hung in the air, about twenty feet above me, and lightnings crawled and flickered in the air behind her." [...]