One of Us, Old Boy by L. Joseph Shosty
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (10 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
A wise old professor, facing forced retirement, passes on his greatest secret to his protégé in this moving story of two disparate generations affected by war.
Whether we die as children, adults or senior citizens nearly all of us are going to leave behind the loose ends of everything we weren’t able to finish in time. What if this didn’t have to be the case, though?
As someone who has several very ill relatives this wasn’t an emotionally easy tale to read. It’s difficult to accept that a loved one may not be around in the near future or that not everyone in this world is destined to live a long and healthy life. Don’t let this scare you off, though. Sometimes sad stories teach lessons that less somber tales would never be able to communicate as effectively.
Dr. Trotter and and Thomas’ interactions were the lynchpin of this piece. From the first paragraph I felt as if I was standing in the room listening to their conversation. The relationship between a professor and his or her pupils can be tricky to explain to the outside world but Mr. Shosty did an excellent job capturing the nuances of the professional and personal connections that can develop in this type of situation.
To be honest the ending caught me off guard but it fit in well with the tone and characterization that had been established earlier.
I would have liked to see some sort of explanation given for how a certain object works. It’s presence was the lynchpin of the main character’s interactions and while I understand that there wasn’t room for lengthy backstory it would have been nice to read a few sentences about where this item came from and why it works the way it does.
One of Us, Old Boy stirred up memories and emotions I’d long since forgotten. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who has ever taken a nostalgic glimpse of his or her past.