Review of Donny’s Day   1 comment

My review of Donny’s Day, a short run with Brandon Berntson

Donny Daniels once stole an ancient book from an equally ancient hermit whom some in his small town called a sorcerer. The 14-year old athlete and his kid brother, Dallas, took it out one night and he opened it, to find words written in blood, blood that was not human. Donny, apparently mesmerized by the ancient tome, did not heed his brother’s cries as Dallas was mauled and bloodied by the beings that rose hungry, to feed. Donny put on his running shoes a couple years later and left behind the whispers of folk who surmised he had killed young Dallas, and the bloody shoe prints he saw in his dreams awake and asleep. Donny ran, and kept running, from the memories and visions and dreams, leaving behind him a trail of bloody footprints wherever he stopped for a spell. Were there demons following in his wake, or had he become the demon of his dreams, guilt destroying his own chances at happiness, love, safe respite, not giving him a day of peace.

The story is brief, with each scene in the 55 pages offering visceral, sensual impact. One flinches when Donny opens a closet door and one feels with Donny his need to run from the creatures that haunt his dreams and follow him into wakefulness. This reader ponders whether Donny is acting out his own destruction imposed upon him by the loosing of the ancient demons, or whether the demons follow in his wake and directly effect the horrific deeds that daily keep him on the run. Much of the story is related in back-story and several transitions are abrupt, but perhaps the intent is to instill in the reader the confusion and sense of urgency Donny experiences as each day he wakes from a dream made manifest, and understand his need to escape the bloody violence that follows in his wake, keeping him on the run.

The visceral imagery and psychological ambiguity through Donny’s Day call to mind the early work of Ray Bradbury, as in his October Country tales. The visual and sensory images further evoke in-your-face horror films. The author, Brandon Berntson is definitely a writer to watch, and run with.

Donny’s Day, by Brandon Berntson, is available in ebook and paperback from the publisher, Damnation Books

Review © 2010 Kate Sender


Posted September 6, 2010 by Kate2World in Writing

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