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NightlightNightlight by Trey Dowell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nightlight is a quick story that – at times – taps into the zeitgeist created in shows such as the new Outer Limits or Tales from the Crypt, which built storylines around single revealed deep in the plot. If you’re a fan of those shows (and I remain devoted to such shows and stories), you’ll enjoy this read.

Despite its brevity (is it flash fiction? is it a short short story?), Nightlight manages to flesh out the history of the two characters through an interesting dialogue interplay: brief exchanges followed by a single-character interpretative exposition. And it’s that well-crafted experience that drives the story.

Of course it’s that exposition that gives away the ending early on. It’s difficult to write horror stories without falling back upon some tropes and Nightlight suffers a bit from that genre-fatigue.

Still, the character interactions are enough to carry the day. Even as the story zipped to its conclusion, I found myself wanting less of the ending and more interaction between the child and the technician.

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