Hopefully the worst day of the week is turning into the best day for you, and that even though its back-to-work day you’re taking some time out to get your reading in!
If you can’t get reading done at work, treat yourself after with a cup of something warm, your favourite or current read, and relax!
Skinks by Brent van Staalduinen
First Appeared: The Fiddlehead (Spring 2016)
Print Length: 14 pages
Once again I find myself just being complacent with Brent van Staalduinen’s offering to the Short Story Advent Calendar.
I must admit that perhaps I expected too much ‘Christmas cheer’ from the Calendar and am instead being bombarded with stories, one after the other, on tough subjects.
Skinks is the story of Wendell ‘Dilly’ and his mom while they sit vigil at, what I deduced as Dilly’s stepfather, Jesse’s hospital bed.
Once again I did not like the way the author portrayed dialogue. What happened to simpler writing times where authors would use quotation marks to inform the reader on who is speaking and what they are saying. Is it too much to ask that we return to these less stylized times?
I also didn’t much care for the ‘Skinks’ being lizards subplot of the short story. While I didn’t understand its inclusion, I can say that it did put reiterate the significance of Dilly’s younger age and how, in his mind, Jesse would always be innocent.
I did enjoy the who-dun-it aspect of the story. When I wasn’t quite sure what accident befell Jesse, and why he was being watched by police but with the heavy emphasis on Jesse and Dilly’s mutual love of shooting, I could tell that the twist was going to surround guns. I do have to admit that before the twist was revealed my mind went way darker than what Staalduinen’s ending actually was.
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