The narrator tells the reader Danny Trank hanged himself in the garage three days earlier. People say you could hear his mother’s screams from across the neighborhood. It wasn’t a surprise, and after all, it wasn’t like the narrator and Danny were friends. Danny was just another sad sack.
He and his buddy Jay receive an invitation to Isabel’s party. Her parents are away vacationing in Fiji. As expected, they arrive at the party to find everyone drinking and dancing. What they don’t expect are the loud, intermittent bangs that seem to be coming from the basement.
This was hard to get a read on at first. The feel is nihilistic/hedonistic, almost like a Bret Easton Ellis novel. When the narrator sees the hostess Isabel in a “short pink flowery dress,” he notes, “she beamed at us with those glistening pearly whites.” After some further description of her, he concludes, “I would’ve fucked her right then and there with everybody watching.”
Who says romance is dead?
But he isn’t so wrapped up in her that he fails to notice she deadbolts the door behind them.
Nevertheless, he isn’t completely listless and acts to help an innocent person.
However, some of the imagery is so over-the-top, I couldn’t buy it. It crossed my mind that perhaps the narrator’s experiences could be chalked up to (…dating myself…) bad acid. What makes this story even odder, is that the ending came as no surprise.
While the story is not bad, it was more of a puzzle that turns out to be just what you expected.
According to his blurb, author K.N. George is a lifelong lover of the arts. He attended the Art Institute of Washington for animation but found his creative writing classes more rewarding. His passion for storytelling stems from his time as an award-winning actor during his youth.
The story can be read here.
Author: K.N. George
First published: Theme of Absence, May 22, 2020