Friday, January 27, 2012

A ghost story
I know we normally do books here but I ran across a sweet little short story you might like. This story comes in at less than 10,000 word.  It is an easy, somewhat fast read, though I found myself slowing down to savor the scene as Luella tells her tale.

The Hero of Elm Street
By Mark Edward Hall
Published by Lost Village Books
Pages: 29

From Amazon:
Luella Coombs is more than just a storyteller. She is a chronicler of life’s triumphs and tragedies. She has also lived long enough to realize that fact and fancy can sometimes become confused. In the midst of a great northeast hurricane she decides to relate a story from her younger years. But as the tale unfolds she begins to understand that stories live only because of their telling and that words not only have the power to heal but to transcend time itself. 

The Hero of Elm Street. A ghost story about love, loss, and the power of hope. 

About the story:
Luella tells a tale to her grandchildren during a great storm, while her daughter -in-law shakes her head disapprovingly. Luella loved her stepson, a man her own age, and she conveys that magical love to her grandchildren through a simple story of love and loss. It is a ghost story though not the typical paranormal stories one reads so much today.

My take:
First the writing is just plain good. Technically, the book is smooth without any jarring mistakes. I could feel the character of Luella completely, while the other characters were simply support. I did not find this distracting, rather it allowed me to experience Luella fully in those few short pages.
This is not a tale with huge conflicts, fast action, twists and turns, or even a major climax. It is a tale of human nature and the strange things that happen to people. The one thing this tale did stir in me is the memory of the book my grandmother wrote called My Story, published only for the family.  The Hero of Elm Street has a similar tone, gentle and natural. 

I recommend this to anyone looking for a tender, kind look into the nature of special love and loss.

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