Short Story #79: Kill Them! Kill Them! by Robert Graves

Title:  Kill Them! Kill Them!

Author:  Robert Graves


Robert Graves - The Shout and Other Stories
A man and woman discuss David, a soldier who died in battle (it's unclear of the relationship amongst the three--they seem familial but it's not entirely clear.  The man and woman are father and daughter).  They discuss some of the politics around an award David did not receive.  Their discussion reminds the father of a time when David was a child and saw a bunch of clergymen together and the child's response was to "Kill them!  Kill them!".  Jenny explains David's response was because it seemed impossible for there to be more than one clergyman and so a flock of them felt fundamentally wrong in contrast to other groups such as children or soldiers.  They also mention David's distaste for seedcake.  When they turn a corner with the car, they encounter a group of clergymen who are eating seedcake.  The father jokingly says, "Kill them, kill them!" 


This falls pretty short overall and I think it has a lot to do with the points of reference being made.  Between acronyms, cultural terms, and practices, a lot gets lost in translation.  I appreciate the contrast between how we perceive one sort of people as singular (such as priests) and another as groups (soldiers) and the contrast between those groups is further fascinating but it doesn't quite translate as well as it could have.  

Short Story #79 out of 365
Rating: 1 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  3/19/2014
Source:  The Shout and Other Stories by Robert Graves. Penguin Books, 1978.

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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