Friday, January 2, 2015

Short Fiction Friday: The Blacksmith by Susan Shultz

Ainsley has a dead heart. It's true: it's cold and black and has left her unable to love. But that's okay with Ainsley. She lives alone in an old house next to a graveyard and those buried beneath the ground are her friends and companions. Ainsley keeps a garden there, too. A very special garden. It's a work in progress, one that keeps Ainsley busy. One that gives Ainsley and her dead heart purpose. 

On the one hand I really liked this story. It's dark and twisted, which is just my cup of tea.

On the other hand I was confused from the very start. And that's not really the author's fault. This is a release from Full Fathom Five's digital arm and I've long been under the impression that Full Fathom Five is focused on YA. (The cover design doesn't help, folks.) And this is not YA. At. All.

So that aside, again this was a dark and twisty tale that caught my attention and held it throughout its short length. Ainsley is definitely not a likable character, per se. But she is an interesting one. The way she interacts with the world and her hidden life are so at odds with one another that of course she's intriguing.

I kind of loved the end. I won't give it away, but I loved it. It couldn't have ended any other way.

This was such an odd little tale. It's Susan Shultz's debut and the first in an apparent series of Tales From the Graveyard. The short does include an excerpt from another story, though between "The Blacksmith" and that excerpt it's as yet unclear how those stories are connected. I don't know when "Jessie" will be releasing but I'm interested enough in following Shultz's work that I'd probably tune in even if it wasn't another Graveyard story - if "The Graveyard" is any indication I think she's a strong voice to watch for in the horror genre.

Rating: 3.5/5

(I came across this one on Nerdist and was curious.)

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