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Friday, 14 August 2015
Jamal Comes Home by Benedict J. Jones - Kitchen Sink Gothic
""He's been gone three weeks now. Never been gone this long. Day or two maybe. But he always comes home when he's hungry or needs a bath."
"Joan nodded, not mentioning that Jamal, Carol's son, also came back when he needed something to sell for his next pipe."
But Carole loves her frequently wayward son and is determined to find out where he is, even though others seem to care little about him. Which is why she finds herself going to see Mrs Shandy, a psychic booked at their local club. Carole knows something bad must have happened to Jamal and is desperate to find out where he is and get him home. But she never expected to hear what the psychic had to say.
"Mrs Shandy gave the audience a small tight smile.
""One more reading before we break."
"Her hand moved in the bag and Carole's breath caught in her throat when she saw her withdraw a photo. Mrs Shandy stared at the photo and then looked out into the audience.
""It's dark where he is. He's scared and he wants his mum."
"Carole felt the tears begin to well up once more and bit them back with a deep slug of her drink.
""Jamal wants to come home.""
It's a tale of a mother's love - a love that is unable to see the darkness her son has found himself in. With its down to earth grittiness and true kitchen sink setting, Benedict J. Jones has created memorable characters and a modern day horror that lingers long after the tale finishes. At least it did for me!
""He can hear us! I can feel him coming out of the dark."
"Carole felt her heart jump in her chest and she could not help but shout.
""Come home, Jamal. Please come home."
"Fire blazed in Mrs Shandy's eyes.
"Jamal, if you can hear us then come towards us, come back.""
Read Benedict J. Jones's story Jamal Comes Home in Kitchen Sink Gothic. Try it - and the other 16 stories, some darkly humorous, while others are more than weirdly strange and occasionally horrific. None are less than memorable.
Kitchen Sink Gothic includes:
1964 by Franklin Marsh
Derek Edge and the Sun-Spots by Andrew Darlington
Daddy Giggles by Stephen Bacon
Black Sheep by Gary Fry
Jamal Comes Home by Benedict J. Jones
Waiting by Kate Farrell
Lilly Finds a Place to Stay by Charles Black
The Mutant's Cry by David A. Sutton
The Sanitation Solution by Walter Gascoigne
Up and Out of Here by Mark Patrick Lynch
Late Shift by Adrian Cole
The Great Estate by Shaun Avery
Nine Tenths by Jay Eales
Envelopes by Craig Herbertson
Tunnel Vision by Tim Major
Life is Prescious M. J. Wesolowski
Canvey Island Baby by David Turnbull