Although this is a short story, it was great, not too exhaustive yet complete and compelling enough to keep you wondering how the story will end. The story follows an unemployed Mitch, a man at home alone, appearing to be awake for weeks on end, and clearly at odds with the downward spiral his life is taking. Through the use of vivid imagery, the reader tries to make sense of his deteriorating home, relationships and life. During his lowest points, Mitch is drawn to an evil force in the bushes behind his home. He doesn't know what it is, he can't quite see it, but it calls to him and haunts him often. What is this demonic force? Is this an actual being, taunting him from just beyond his reach? Or is it his own unstable mind, caused by a slow mental breakdown? Several family members try to get Mitch the help he needs, but he seems complacent enough to carry on as though nothing was wrong. During one pivotal conversation with his brother on the phone, it's easy to see Mitch's mental state. Mitch speaks simultaneously with both the brother and the demon he sees in the forest. It gets to the point where it was hard to tell whether the brother or the beast was responding. By this point, it was easy to feel sympathy for Mitch and feel how desperate his mind was becoming. The end was unique and climactic, as Mitch goes to extremes to rid himself of the beast that has been plaguing him. He feels confident his attack worked, yet logic tells you it's actually the beast that has won. It's a superb ending, the likes of which I'd find on shows such as the Twilight Zone. The story flips between first and third person a few times, not sure if this is deliberate, but considering the nature of the story, it's definitely appropriate and adds to the mystery of Mitch and the beast that plagues him. I'd definitely read more works from this author.
(reviewed 35 days after purchase)