Possibly the best thing I've read online recently is Brian Oliu's "Zelda Revisited." As such, I've been wanting to write about and try to point more readers in its direction, but I have kind of struggled with what say say beyond, like, "wow," and "awesome," and just kind of pointing my finger at it and nodding.
After reading it a handful of times, one of the aspects that has really stuck with me is how well Oliu is able to draw inspiration from a game that so many of us are probably familiar with and remember fondly. I mean, throw a Zelda reference into just about anything and I'm all but assured to like it. That said, and as easy as that is, I think it can be really hard to then grow above that and write a story that works on its own terms and where the video game / pop culture references don't feel like a bit of a cheat. (Along these terms, I actually remembered Kevin Wilson's "Mortal Kombat" that I wrote a bit about last year. Also: Mike Alber's "Magic: The Essay" and Matt Bell's "Ken Sent Me: Lost in the Land of the Lounge Lizards" are both among my favorite of pieces we've been lucky enough to publish in Hobart for their ability to use gaming as an element to something larger. (See, also: Matt Bell's "Mario's Three Lives."))
Where "Zelda Revisited" shines is in its language, and the way it has really re-envisioned such a familiar scene. Written with the tautness of the best short shorts, the story is lyrical like a prose poem and sucks you in, almost hypnotically. In fact, my favorite parts are the very-hypnotic repetitions -- first with its "Unlike before... " and "We will... We will... We will..." and finally, in the last paragraph, the amazingly circular, "I will wake up and think you are dead. I will wake up and you will be dead... I will wake up and I will be dead... I will be dead and you will wake up..." etc.
Yes. I know, right.
In fact, just to plug a couple more favorite recent stories, it reminded me a bit of the repetition in our own Jensen Beach's " We Cannot Cross the River" and "Family," both stories that use repetition in their own different ways but to the best of effect.