By Ian David Oakes
A woman who, for weeks has seen a gang of teenagers vandalize and terrorize her neighbors, ambushes one of them when one of the vandals breaks into her house. All she wants is the answer to one question: Why?
It’s a short story with not much depth. Yet, there is a bit. I expected a bit of a tale of avenging and redemption or a twist. Again, there is a bit of both.
Unnamed woman: husband dead, has an eight year old son, works at Starbuck’s, smokes
Rosie Greene: 16, black hair, has a sister
Other minor characters. Surface information. No name for the main character but in one sense, the name may not be needed because the reader can put him/herself in the role of the woman and see things from her point of view a bit better. However, I didn’t see as much depth as I would have liked from Rosie. I see the ‘character development’ an author strives for in Rosie, but I wanted it drawn out more. Could have drawn out the woman’s relationship with her husband a bit more and shown how that affected her current life.
Forced. For a story like this, I wanted the dialogue between the woman and Rosie to be drawn out a bit more, some ups and downs. There is some, but not enough to really grab me and shake me up. I wanted more intrigue, more cleverness.
Present tense, first person from the main character’s POV for most of the story. Short chapters. Quick read. Profanity. I wanted more give and take, more depth, more ups and downs in the tension. This is the type of story that the reader wants to get excited about reading. How far does the woman go? How far will she go? Does Rosie have some clever plan up her sleeve? There’s little action and surface drama. Because it’s written from the woman’s POV, I didn’t get to be inside Rosie’s head and thoughts and feelings until the end. By that time, I knew what was happening. The irony in the story at the end was good but the main story lacked meat. Yes, it’s a short story and an author can do only so much with shorts, but this could have been a little longer and been more grabbing.