Published by Omnium Gatherum on 2/23/15
Genres: Dark Fiction, Fiction, Mystery
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Carus is only fifteen but since their mum disappeared, looking after her little sister Mitch is her job. There’s nobody else. Not in their house and not outside, either. There’s something out there, scratching and scraping at the windows.
The barricades will hold.
They have to.
I nabbed this from the Horror After Dark review list because I like what’s going on at Omnium Gatherum. I’ve read a few books from them now and a couple of them have knocked my socks off. I include this novella in that category.
Carus and Mitch are the names of two girls living alone in a house. Their house is barricaded throughout and the girls only have access to a couple of the rooms. They have live chickens in the dining room. Their mother’s locket hangs on the wall.
That’s all I can tell you. Why, you ask? The fun that I had with this story was teasing out the truth of the narrative, and I don’t want to spoil that for anyone else. I’m still not sure that I have all the answers, but I find as I’m thinking about the story now, a few more things have become clear. (Or have they? I’m not sure!) But I have always enjoyed ambiguous tales and this is definitely one.
I thought this story was well written and cleverly told. I expected answers that I wasn’t given, and I liked that. I liked having to work a little bit to understand things. I enjoyed not having everything tied up in a pretty little package. In this way, Tim Major reminds me a lot of Greg F. Gifune and that’s the highest compliment I can think of right now.
To summarize, I recommend this novella to lovers of ambiguous and sophisticated dark fiction. I call it sophisticated because this is more than just a straightforward story, it needs the reader’s input to be complete. This reader loved it!
About Tim Major
Tim’s first novel, YOU DON’T BELONG HERE (a time-travel thriller) will be published by Snowbooks in September 2016. His SF novella, BLIGHTERS, was published by Abaddon in July 2016 and his previous novella, CARUS & MITCH, was published by Omnium Gatherum in 2015 and was shortlisted for a This Is Horror Award. His short stories have featured in Interzone, Horizons (the journal of the British Fantasy Society) and numerous anthologies. He is the Editor of the SF magazine, The Singularity, and blogs at www.cosycatastrophes.wordpress.com