“Layers Part 5” by Kaine Andrews

“Layers Part 5” by Kaine Andrews

Part V

I turned away from the portrait of a happy family, slinking past the couches with all the hair on my body standing straight up. They’d never bothered me before, and whatever logic remained in this hellhole said they wouldn’t… but after the television, I wasn’t certain that things here were going to go 100% according to the script. Something was different this time. Maybe because I was actually here, instead of just visiting in my sleep. Maybe because what was waiting for me had gotten impatient and greedy, or maybe it was just stronger.

Once I was past them, creeping into the hallway, I lowered my guard. Just a bit, but enough that I felt I could breathe without sounding like a broken teakettle. I glanced back over my shoulder, not surprised when I saw that Mom and Dad’s heads weren’t visible over the top of the couch, and I couldn’t see Sis sprawled out on the other one. They’d vanished.

I was okay with that. One less thing to worry about, at least for now. What was coming was worse than their eyeless stares.

The crying was louder back here. I knew where I was supposed to go – the door at the end of the hall – but still wanted to put it off as long as I could. Wanted to make sure there were no other nasty surprises. Besides, I had to follow the script; I was sure if I tried to beeline it, something would stop me. I had to check the other door first.

I laid my hand on the doorknob to the left and pushed the door open a crack. The crying intensified for a moment, a brief period where it seemed like it was coming from right in front of me. Then it receded, as though falling down a long well.

The door opened on a walk-in closet. A blue plastic bowling ball bag sat in the corner, the outer layer peeling and flaking. A long brown coat that looked like it was last in style sometime during the flapper era, reeking of mothballs and stale cigars, hung above it. A pair of battered cardboard boxes, the edges cracked outwards and yellowed with age, sat on the shelf above. One was a Monopoly set; the one on top was the old Parker Brothers Ouija board. Some people might have taken that as a bad sign; I figured the family had worse supernatural crap to worry about than a plastic planchette and a mass-produced particle board alphabet.

I pulled the door shut and turned back to the end of the hall. The crying was obviously coming from there. I moved towards it, feeling like I was walking through water rather than air. Something beyond the door was radiating something, an aura deadlier and more poisonous than radiation. I couldn’t let it stop me. She needed me.

I reached the end of the hall and pushed the door open. Even though I knew there was nothing to fear – at least, not right now – I still winced as the door rebounded off the wall, and kept one eye to a slit as I scanned the room beyond. Just in case.

The room beyond was a bedroom. The shag carpet continued, though it looked less walked on in here. To the left was a smooth wall, a recessed and half-open door beckoning at the midpoint. Ahead was an old-time slot machine, neon glass, chromed buzzer on top, polished level to the side, almost begging to be pulled. The lights were dark, and a thin layer of grime over the windows said it hadn’t been used in a long time, probably even longer than the television out front.

To the right was the bed, and as I came into the room and turned my attention to it, I saw a shape squirming in the middle, underneath the thin brown blanket that was otherwise without blemish, pulled perfectly up against the gleaming white pillows. The crying became louder again, very clearly from the bed.

I walked towards it, grabbing hold of the blanket’s loose edge on the right side of the bed. The image of myself in my head was that of a bad magician attempting the tablecloth trick, as I whipped the blanket away and let it fly into the corner. It crumpled there like the discarded flesh of an uncleanly killed animal, revealing the layer beneath.

There was an indentation in the bare mattress, right in the middle where the shape had been before I pulled the blankets away. The crying seemed to be coming from that same spot. I reached out and placed my hand on the mattress, feeling the smooth fabric cool against my skin. Sliding my hand towards the indent, even as it was rising to the same level as the rest, I felt the heat coming from it, as though a body had lain there not long before.

The crying stopped as I pulled my hand away. I glanced over my shoulder, to the half-open door. As I stared, the door wobbled in the frame, as though something had passed by it with a gentle nudge. The crying started again, coming from the room beyond. I backed away from the bed, taking a deep breath.

If there was any consolation to be hand, it was this: It was almost over.

This story was originally published at KaineAndrews.com. Intrigued? Stay tuned for Part 6, next Thursday!

About the Author

Kaine Andrews

Kaine Andrews was raised in the wilds of Nevada, molded by NASCAR-loving witches, a Catholic school education and typewriter theft, granting a natural fascination with all things dark and dreary and demented scribblings. He currently resides in Oregon, where the omnipresent drizzle keeps him somewhat sane.

Black Catastrophy

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Willow Croft’s Short Story Response to Black CATastrophy Writing Prompt 16: PUPPY LOVE

Willow Croft’s Short Story Response to Black CATastrophy Writing Prompt 16: PUPPY LOVE

pexels-photo-114297

They found the bike propped up against the wall, but Allison was gone.
“Dammit, I knew I should have never got her that bike.”
“Dad, it’s not the city anymore. She’ll be okay.”
“I know, it’s just…”
“Yeah, I miss Mom, too.”
Samuel gave his son a side hug. “I love you, Marius.”
“C’mon, Dad. Let’s find her before she stumbles across a backwoods meth lab.”
“Ha, ha.” He watched his son load the bike into the back of the SUV. Hard to believe he’s already a senior.
“We’ll hit all the stores on Main Street before they close. Then head over to the dog park, then—”
“Then we’ll swing by the trailer, then the community pool, then out to the farmhouses on the outskirts. Can I drive?” Marius asked.
“When you get your own car.”
None of the store owners had seen Allison.
“Next stop, the diner,” Samuel said. His son was too busy texting to answer.
“Hey, Rhonda, seen Allison today?” Samuel asked his boss.
“No, hun, not since you all were here for Sunday brunch. She missing again?” Rhonda inched closer. “You just need a good woman to look after you all.”
He could smell peppermint Schnapps on her breath. “We’re doing okay.”
“C’mon, Dad, it’s going to be dark soon.”
“You all just let me know if you need something.” Rhonda patted Marius on the head.
Samuel hustled Marius out the door.
“Seriously, Dad, a head pat? Please tell me you don’t like her.”
“Why not? She’s a good woman.”
“Now I know you’re full of sh*t.”
“Watch your mouth, son.”
Their laughter stopped when they got to the trailer and saw Allison on the steps.
“Oh, no, she’s got Mrs. Wilson’s dog.” Samuel said.
“Daddy, look. I have puppy friend.” Allison stood, the dog struggling to get free.
“Dad, what’s all over her dress?” Marius said.
“Hopefully just mud.”
“It’s all in her hair, too.”
“Sweetie, that puppy is Mrs. Wilson’s.”
“No, daddy. Is mine.” Allison held the dog even tighter.
“Allison, we’re going to get hamburgers at Charley’s. Mrs. Wilson is going to watch the puppy while we eat. Okay?”
Allison smiled crookedly. “Okay, Daddy. Then we go get puppy, if I’m good?”
“I promise.” Samuel gently took the dog from her. “Now, go with Marius. He’s going to get you all cleaned up.”
Samuel carried the dog over to Mrs. Wilson’s trailer and knocked. The tin door squeaked open.
“That girl of yours stole my dog again?” Mrs. Wilson flicked her cigarette into a bush.
“Yes, ma’am. I’m very sorry. Allison doesn’t understand when she does something wrong. And she just loves dogs.” Samuel said, as the dog ran inside.
“So you keep sayin’. Next time, I’m gonna call the police.” Mrs. Wilson slammed the door.

********

Later that evening, Samuel made sure the childproof locks were set on the front door. At least she couldn’t wander outside at night.
“But what if there’s a fire,” his wife said to him, in his head.
“I tried my best, Janine,” he whispered, as he poured himself some Scotch. After a couple of sips, he took the glass to the desk in his room. He pulled out a glossy pamphlet from the drawer. “I’m so sorry, Allison.” Salty tears mixed in with the whiskey taste in his mouth.
The next morning, Samuel dropped his son off at school.
“Allison not coming to school today?” Marius asked.
“Nope, we’re taking the day off. After yesterday, I’d better keep an eye on her. Figured we’d go get pancakes. Can you get a ride home after band practice?”
“Sure, Jessica’s mom can drop me off.”
“Pancakes?” Allison said from the back seat. “Chocolate chip?”
“You betcha. All the chocolate chips you want.”
After Allison had her fill of pancakes, Samuel drove her to the state psychiatric hospital that Allison’s doctor had recommended.
“Daddy, where are we?”
Samuel unloaded her suitcase. “Sweetie, you’re going to go on a vacation.”
“Are there puppies inside?” Allison asked.
“Let’s go see, shall we?” He held her hand tightly while he led her up to the white building.

********

He got home well ahead of Marius. There was a dog sitting on the front steps of the trailer porch. At least it’s not Mrs. Wilson’s dog.

“Shoo,” he said, and the dog took off. The trailer was so quiet. He turned on the TV and then took a new bottle of Scotch and a glass from the cabinet. The house was still too quiet. He turned up the TV volume. Some old action movie.

He poured one drink, then another. Then a third. His hands hadn’t stopped shaking, but at least he wasn’t crying anymore. Have to be strong for Marius.

Five o’clock, and the winter darkness started to close in. Someone started yelling in the movie. Then a cacophony of barking dogs erupted from the television. I don’t remember dogs in the movie. How much Scotch did I drink?He shook the bottle. Almost empty.

He squinted at the TV, but the picture was blurry. He turned it off. The yelling stopped but the barking persisted. No, it was more like howling, now. He fumbled with the childproof locks and opened the door. Animals streaked from the small porch into the shadows.

“What the—” He took the flashlight from the shelf by the door and shone it into the darkness. Dogs. Hundreds of dogs. Some even looked like wolves. And they had stopped howling. Instead, they were growling. Growling and snapping as they sprinted forward. Samuel stumbled backwards and fell, dropping the flashlight.

“I’m so sorry, Allison,” he cried as the dogs closed in.

*********

“Hi, Marius.” Allison hugged her brother. “Are we going to go get pancakes?”
“Yes, Allison, pancakes with chocolate chips.”
“Then home?”
“Yes, home. But only after we get you a puppy from the shelter.”
“Puppy.” Allison clapped her hands. “I love puppies.” Her smile was no longer crooked.

–Willow Croft

The story was written in response to our writing prompt, Gone. It was originally published by Willow Croft, here.

About the Author

Willow Croft is a freelance writer and editor, who loves nature, stargazing, and action adventure movies. She is the author of the poetry book, Quantum Singularity: A Poetic Voyage through Time and Space. Tweet her at @WillowCroft16.

Black Catastrophy

“Layers Part 4” by Kaine Andrews

“Layers Part 4” by Kaine Andrews

Part IV

Mom and Sis didn’t seem like it mattered to them one way or another that there was a gangly loser standing in their doorway, one who was trying to scream and had the reek of fresh urine hanging about him. Dad noticed, though. It looked like it was what he wanted because I could see the hard lines in that face go smooth, then contract in the other direction as his lips pulled back in a smile. His teeth were missing; only ragged gums and a flopping, greenish thing. Beyond that I guessed was his tongue.

As one, they turned away from me, rotating their heads towards the ancient television. Dad stopped smiling. My lungs unlocked enough for the shriek to slip past my lips and allow me to take a ragged breath.

The reprieve was short-lived. There was a solid thunk from the direction of the entertainment center, followed by the distinct hum of old technology powering up. A moment later the house was filled with a test tone cranked up to almost deafening levels. I screamed again, this time actually getting one out, but nobody could have heard it over that noise. Covering my ears, I looked over at the television and saw it was displaying one of those old Indian Head title cards in grainy black and white.

That was new. I’d been expecting a different sound, thought I might even have been prepared for it. Was hoping for it, really. That was the easy part, the only part that didn’t make my teeth grind and my heartbeat turn into a techno beat.

Doing the only thing I could think of, I lurched towards the television, probably looking like some poor man’s impersonation of Frankenstein. I took one hand away from my ear, instantly regretting it when the sound clawed into the canal and ruptured my eardrum. I felt something leaking out and dribbling on my shoulder. The pain was bad, but at least the sound was deadened.

I reached out and shoved the television, rocking it on the little rubberized feet a bit. It was heavier than I expected. I shoved a second time, harder, and it tipped over, landing facedown only a couple of inches from my foot. I heard glass shatter, but the sound kept going. I don’t know what else I’d expected; things were built like tanks back then, and breaking the glass wasn’t liable to trash the speaker.

I did the next thing that came to mind, grabbing the power cord that snaked out of the back of the unit and yanking it as hard as I could. It came loose in a shower of sparks. For a moment I hoped they’d hit that obnoxious carpet, catch fire, and burn the whole mess down. Preferably complete with Mom, Dad, and Sis.

I wasn’t that lucky. Whatever toxic chemicals they used to pour on the carpeting in the way back when, meant the sparks barely singed it. The lightshow ended a moment later with a loud popping noise from somewhere deeper in the house. The living room dimmed a little. I guessed a fuse must have blown or a breaker was tripped.

Either way, it put things back on track. When I took my hand off my other ear, I heard the sound I’d been expecting. Faint, coming from further back, down a hall past the family couches.

Somewhere back there, a baby was crying. I had to find her. Even though I knew what would happen when I did, I still had to try.

This story was originally published at KaineAndrews.com. Intrigued? Stay tuned for Part 5, next Thursday!

About the Author

Kaine Andrews

Kaine Andrews was raised in the wilds of Nevada, molded by NASCAR-loving witches, a Catholic school education and typewriter theft, granting a natural fascination with all things dark and dreary and demented scribblings. He currently resides in Oregon, where the omnipresent drizzle keeps him somewhat sane.

Black Catastrophy

Willow Croft’s Short Story Response to black CATastrophy Writing Prompt 2

Willow Croft’s Short Story Response to black CATastrophy Writing Prompt 2

A crippling feeling gripped him in the very pit of his stomach. He knew he would never see Beckham again.

“Relax,” Tamara said. “It’s only kindergarten, he’ll be fine. Wait till we have to send him off to college.” His wife took his hand. “C’mon, I’m due in court in an hour. Sure you’ll be okay? I can have Dad come over and take you to lunch.”

“Ha, ha. Don’t worry, I have clothes to wash and floors to sweep. Oh, and don’t forget to get milk on your way home.”

“I won’t—see you at six. Love you,” Tamara let go of his hand.

“Love you.” Tim watched his son dump a pile of blocks on the carpet. He’ll be fine, he told himself as he left the classroom.

At home, he wandered from room to room. He’d lied to Tamara. The laundry was done, the floors were swept, and he’d even finished the dusting while Beckham had watched his Sunday morning cartoons. Why didn’t I play with him more yesterday, instead of having the TV babysit him?

He turned on the TV and looked for a tennis match. There was none. And the TV noise annoyed him more than the sound of his wife’s business-on-weekends phone conferences.

Milk, he decided. He went to take his car keys off the hook by the door, only to realize he was still jingling them in his hand. The noise echoed in the quiet house as he left.

He got milk last, going up each aisle and gathering everything to make Beckham’s favourite meal, spaghetti and meatballs. Tomatoes, grated cheese, pasta, ground beef, spices and herbs thrown on top of a cartful of things he didn’t need. And red wine to toast his wife’s court victory after Beckham was in bed.

On the way home, he switched “Wheels on the Bus” for a top 100 mix of artists he pretended to recognize. Beckham’s fine, and he got on the freeway instead of the back way that would take him past the school.  He merged and then typed a text to his wife: Got the milk.

…………….

Tamara knew she would win—she always did—but she was still energized as she left the courtroom.

“Congratulations, Ms. Sanders. You’ve helped yet another criminal avoid prison time.” The prosecuting attorney shook her hand a little too firmly.

Tamara hid the wince with a smile. “Thank you,” she said, resisting the urge to comment on his lunchtime happy hour. Or, more likely, his liquid breakfast.

She practically skipped to her SUV, unused to getting out of court so early. She took her phone off silent mode. She scrolled through her text messages, all business. I’m not going back to the office, she decided.  But it was the missed call from Beckman’s school that caught her attention. She began dialing the school, but another call came in. Business, she sighed, and took the call.

“Mrs. Sanders?”

“Who is this?”

“Mrs. Sanders, my name is Officer Hudson of the Boston Police Department…”

“What happened to my son?”

“Ma’am, your son was not in the vehicle your husband was driving when the accident occurred.”

He’s fine, my son is fine, she thought.

“My husband has been in an accident?”

“I’m very sorry, ma’am.”

He’s not fine.

The phone shattered against the pavement.

Originally written in response to black CATastrophy Writing Prompt 02 published on willowcroft.blog. Edited for republishing on black CATastrophy. 

About the Author

Willow Croft is a freelance writer and editor, who loves nature, stargazing, and action adventure movies. She is the author of the poetry book, Quantum Singularity: A Poetic Voyage through Time and Space. Tweet her at @WillowCroft16.

Book Review: The Museum of You by Carys Bray

Book Review: The Museum of You by Carys Bray

When you grow up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story, you’re forever skating on the thin ice of their memories.

Grief. It’s all pervasive and its repercussions are felt throughout the generations, even to those newly born as tragedy strikes.

This is only too true for Clover, almost twelve, who has lived under the cloud of her mother’s death since she was only six weeks old. A ‘surprise’ to both her parents, her well-meaning father, Darren, has tried to protect his daughter from any further unhappiness.

His reluctance to talk about his wife, Becky, is clear to sharp-minded Clover. She sees her father’s deep sorrow and fear when she raises the topic with him, and he replies with the oft repeated sound-bites, sharing only minimal information about her mother.

The Plot

On the cusp of teenage years, Clover becomes desperate to break through the palpable dark shadow of her life and learn more about her elusive mother. However…

…she has recently become attuned to the way Dad takes the temperature of her mood and attempts to chart it. He’ll stop once she smiles – a small smile isn’t enough, it takes all her teeth to convince, and even then he sometimes inspects her expression like a worried dentist.

In her attempt to get to know her mother, Clover recreates Becky’s life from her belongings, which have long since been stored with other junk in the seldom entered second bedroom.

This was her mother’s room. This was her mother’s view. These are her mother’s shoes. She teeters over to the crowded space at the end of the bed, back and forth she treads, back and forth and back and forth as if eventually, she might step into her mother’s life.

As Clover experiences the first independent summer holiday, she is inspired by the school visit to Merseyside Maritime Museum exhibition about the Titanic, to create her own museum about her mother, with a special exhibition in the second bedroom entitled ‘Becky Brookfield – The Untold Story’.

The descriptions of the various items recovered from the boxes and suitcases in the second bedroom punctuate the two viewpoints of the story, with each exhibit clearly named, logged and its history guessed at (often wrongly).

As the poignant and moving story unfolds, the reader gradually learns the reasons for Darren’s reticence and the patchwork of sorrow and guilt permeates the book.

Characters

Clover

Clover’s courage, keen observation, and emotional intelligence is strongly portrayed throughout the novel; not only through her relationship with her father but also with her kindly, loud, and older neighbour Mrs Mackerel, who has often helped care for her.

Darren

Darren is a brilliantly crafted character; flawed, slightly rough. He’s an academic at heart, whose passionate interest and intent to study geography at university was cut short by his own mother’s illness and death in his teens.

As Darren’s father effectively withdrew from life, silence filled the gap of his mother’s former presence. After losing Becky, Darren once again experiences intense grief as he is ‘poleaxed by the old ache of missing her (Becky)’.

Minor Characters

Despite her Uncle Jim’s chaotic life, Clover accepts him with the same unreserved love as her mother had. Meanwhile, further characters become as family. This includes Colin, the odd but stalwart friend from school who is a constant presence in Darren’s life.

There is also the outsider Dagmar, who becomes an unexpected friend to Clover. And finally, her father’s female friend, Kelly; and her two young sons. Ultimately they all become closely linked, caring for each and showing that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

Writing Style

The novel is written through two narrative strands, that of Clover and Darren. Both are in the close third person perspective; and the author’s deftness and skill ensure that each voice is distinctive, and is easy to relate to each character. The sense of immediacy is achieved by the use of present tense for current day events, which slides into the past tense for the story of Darren and Becky’s earlier life.

The Museum of You is written with a unique form of whimsical realism, the grittiness of life interlaced with the magical recreation of Becky’s life in the form a one room museum.

Themes

The themes of love and relationship between parents and children is explored throughout the book. The book also explores the relationship between Becky and her damaged younger brother, Jim, who grew up in a traumatic household.

Setting

Locations feature heavily in the book, particularly as Darren has never left the area he grew up in. As a bus driver, he commutes back and forth between Liverpool and Manchester; recalling the street names, homes, allotment, sights, and sounds. These quickly become familiar to the reader, as the events of his past unravels in a veritable stream of consciousness.

Final Thoughts

In places the novel can seem to be meandering, and some might consider the pace too slow. Personally, I was captivated by the unfurling of the story; the shifting perspectives; the varying tenses; the excellent dialogue and museum details, providing an engrossing, thought-provoking, memorable read.

At no stage did the book become mawkish or morbid. Rather, it’s a seductive tale, tenderly told and overall enchanting with a perfect feel-good factor for the summer holidays!

netgalleyI received a free copy of this book from the NetGalley in exchange for an honest and impartial review.

Rating:                          4 out of 5 stars.

Publisher:                    Random House UK

Available from          Amazon UK   or   Amazon US

Originally published on Annika Perry’s Blog. Edited and re-formatted for republishing on black CATastrophy.

About the Reviewer

Annika Perry was born in Sweden, and moved to the UK at six years old. She is a journalist turned fiction writer, who is in the process of completing her debut novel. You can find her at Annika Perry’s Writing Blog.

Book Review: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Book Review: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Title: The Miniaturist
Author: Jessie Burton
Year of Publication: 2014
Published by: Picador Books (by Pan Macmillan)
Rating: 4.5/5

The Miniaturist is a haunting novel set in 17th century Amsterdam. It follows the story of our main character, Petronella Oortman, from the minute she knocks on her new husband’s door.

Nella has been set up in a marriage, thought to be a dream come true by her mother and every other girl in her village, Assendelft. She is married to a wealthy merchant named Johannes Brandt.

But what she doesn’t know is life in Amsterdam is far from being a dream; especially in 1686, when the burgomasters and the Church are taking over the country, and neighbors are always on the watch for anything that arouses suspicion.

The Main Characters

Nella’s husband is mostly neglecting, and he tries to avoid her at the beginning, which causes Nella great confusion and distress. As she unravels the secrets of her husband’s past and present, she finds out that the events are inevitably bound together with the past of the three other residents of their house: his sister, Marin; their maid, Cornelia; and their servant, Otto.

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .”

Johannes

In my opinion, Johannes is such a complex and outstanding, amazing human being. Of course, I may have a faith which contrasts his views, but that doesn’t change the fact that I nodded fiercely at everything he was saying throughout the book.

I loved the way how, with time, he began trying to get comfortable and intimate with Nella. He tried, he really did, but it wasn’t enough to fulfill a little girl’s dreams of a healthy marriage and a warm home and a big family.

She thought she’d left her home in Assendelft for a life that would make up for everything she’s never had, but she’s mistaken.

Marin

Johannes’ sister, is a woman of mysteries and contradictions. A walking paradox, if I might say. She holds so much of herself for herself, and shares very little of it with people. I think she, of all the characters, is the one who changes the most throughout the story, at least through the eyes of the reader.

Cornelia

She is a maid who takes pleasure in making up stories about the truths she knows of the Brandts, but by the end of the book I guarantee you’ll be swooning over how loving and caring she is.

Otto

Otto is a character that I wish I’d heard more of. He doesn’t play any main role in the storyline until the last 200 pages or so. He is also amazingly caring, but perhaps a bit more conservative and secretive than Cornelia.

The Plot

Trying to offer a distraction from his secretive behavior, Johannes offers his wife a wedding gift: a miniature version of their house. He gives Nella the freedom to decorate it the way she wants.

Nella only finds one miniaturist in Amsterdam, but little does she know that the miniaturist is the one who’s constructing her fate and leading her into it at the same time.

Throughout the story, Nella becomes convinced that every piece the miniaturist sends has a tangible connection with the shocking events that are taking place in her household.

“Growing older, Nella realizes, does not seem to make you more certain. It simply presents you with more reasons for doubt.”

My Thoughts

If you think this book is a kind of warm, touchy-feely read that gives you a glimpse of Amsterdam’s history full of glamorous balls and dinners and fortunes, it is not. It’s a book of mysteries, (every other page is a mystery unto itself), and the characters tend to be shocking and layered.

I absolutely love it when an author succeeds in making the characters materialize into real human beings.  I love it when they aren’t just words on paper any longer, but real human beings you can empathize and connect with.

The story picks up a bit slowly at first, but every chapter holds an answer for a previous mystery, and a new question to be raised. It’s been beautifully thought out, imagined and researched. Burton has definitely put all of her heart into it.

There are deep metaphors throughout the book, making the words dance with a mystic trill in your head. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m glad I didn’t rush it, but savored it. I advise you to do so, too.

Black Catastrophy

Originally published on the Unapologetic Writer. Reformatted and lightly edited for publishing on black CATastrophy.

About the Reviewer

Marwa Abdeen is an 18 year old book lover and reviewer. She reads books in both English (her second language) and Arabic (her first language). Catch up with her on Goodreads.

*Goodreads synopsis

*Jessie’s website