Kindle edition: 32 Pages
Series: Short story standalone
Publisher: Seth Blackburn
This short story, with its oddly unexpected HEA ending, is brilliant! Exceptional. *checks dictionary for other synonyms* Clever, genius, inventive, profound (oh, yes, it is), sharp, masterly. Okay, I think you got it.
A first person narrative, from the MC’s point of view, Circus of the Dead is about the survivors of the Scourge, the zombie apocalypse that destroyed the world, living a primitive life in a tiny, nameless town.
The town’s preacher, Rev. Joe, has taken upon himself the role of leader, preaching to the townsfolk teachings of the Bible, turning them into an almost cult-like community. They live a quiet, empty life until the circus comes to town.
When Fancy Man, as Gabe dubs him, invites them to the circus with promises of showing them a living dead, he’s met with apprehension and hostility from most of the people, with Rev. Joe in front. His invitation, however, causes people to divide between those who are curious – mostly the young ones who’ve never seen a zombie – and those that are clearly against the circusfolk.
Gabe and his brother, Christopher, both under the age of 18, sneak into the middle of the night and go to the circus. In the middle of the night’s event, everything goes to hell. And that’s all I’m willing to say.
Blackburn’s writing is epic! Descriptive and detailed, the zombie scene and one other (that I will not name) are surprisingly chilling. His world-building is so good to the point where I can easily imagine this depressing,desert setting. He writes a sequence of events that I couldn’t predict, started by a twist I sure as heck didn’t see coming.
Every metaphor and comparison, every paragraph is building up to that one game-changer scene and it.is.great!
Seriously, how have I not heard of Blackburn until now? Such a smart, fantastic read.
To makes things better, this is free on Smashwords so go get it! Now.