The Covenant and Other Stories
Rob & Rosie are a married couple mired in the depths of a dying marriage. Rosie is seeing another man, Rob’s future seems linked to the next drink. Escape from a stagnant rut is what they seek, but will they kill the other to truly be free? And so begins “The Covenant and Other Stories.” Nightmares tear asunder the fabric of a gentle night’s sleep. In “Daydreamers” Seth is a teenager battling demons of the unconscious mind, losing sleep each night. Solutions are futile, at least until he meets Jessica. She is the antidote to his ills, illustrating what one dear person can mean to another. Their feelings towards each other prove stronger than any medicine.
Hercules brings us into the orbit of a pipelayer named Ricky. Ricky toils at a backbreaking job under horrendous conditions. He is married to a loving wife and father of a daughter and expecting a son. Ricky’s hard work and even harder drinking cover over unrealized dreams and lingering resentments. One rough night leads to passing out dehydrated on the job and a hospital stay. Will Ricky look deeper within and make changes or strike out in anger? Love is Easy places the reader in the crumbling household of a preacher whose fiery sermons mask a hypocritical streak miles long. His pious ways are no longer a source for admiration from his loved ones, as they know how far he’s strayed. A budding feud with his teenage son threatens an irreparable rift. Can there be a reconciliation with such deep hurt and lies?
The next story consists of disparate characters whose destiny involves a night at the bar. The bartender is coping with failure, a funeral party is mourning the loss of a loved one, a couple celebrates an engagement, while a tightly wound man looks to inflict his hurt on anyone else. The outlook appears explosive. The remaining three stories revolve around commitment and its pitfalls, unbearable loss and despair, but the endings of each story may surprise the reader.
The Covenant and Other Stories is a fascinating overview of human emotions. Each vignette proves capable of packing an emotional wallop. The characters are varied and generate individual interest, the reader feeling ranges of reactions with the progress of the action. The author has done a fine job in penning each story where the conclusion might be ambiguous, but the reader’s feeling of satisfaction is anything but.
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