« Mute Witness / Rick R. Reed | Main | Under / Bradd Quinn »

Reunion / Rick Hautala

PS Publishing / December 2009
Reviewed by: Martel Sardina

PS Publishing has done it again, folks. Peter Crowther has a keen eye (or perhaps some sort of talisman?) for picking winners.

Like Stephen King’s “The Body”, Rick Hautala’s Reunion is a coming-of-age story. All Jackie wants to do is enjoy the last few weeks of summer before junior high starts. There’s no better way to do that than camping out in the backyard with his best friend, Chris. But Chris has other ideas about how the pair should spend their time. He’s heard that a high school reunion is being held at a local country club. If the pair snuck out of Jackie’s backyard, there’s a good chance that they could sneak into the reunion. And if luck was on their side, perhaps they wouldn’t be leaving empty-handed. Chris thinks they could walk away with a stockpile of stolen snacks and beer.

Jackie doesn’t want to go along with Chris’s plan. When Jackie worries that they’ll surely be caught, Chris goads Jackie until he finally gives in.

A thick fog descends on the area. It gives the boys some cover from passing cars, but also makes their walk to the country club dangerous.

Meanwhile, John prepares to attend his 40th high school reunion. Murphy’s Law is at work where this trip is concerned. After a series of mishaps, John and his wife, Maggie, are finally driving from their hotel to the country club to attend the reunion dinner. When the tire on their rental car blows out, Maggie wonders why the universe seems intent on keeping them from making it to their destination. After all the hassles, Maggie believes they should just skip the reunion. But John promised someone 40 years ago that he would be there. Breaking that promise could be a matter of life and death.

Not long after, John and Jackie’s paths cross. John tries to warn Jackie about some impending danger. He spouts off some crazy statements about the fog, and seems to know more about Jackie than he should. What could this unlikely pair possibly have in common? Chris convinces Jackie that John is either drunk or some kind of a pervert. The boys leave, hoping to put some distance between themselves and this crazy old man.

From here, Hautala’s tale takes an unexpected turn. When Jackie realizes that he should have heeded John’s warning, it’s already too late. The wheels Hautala sets into motion cannot be stopped. All Jackie can do now is deal with the consequences of the choices he’s made.

Reunion is a heartbreaking look at the loss of innocence. Time is a fleeting resource. Hautala’s tale is a poignant reminder not to waste a minute of the one life we’ve been given.

Purchase Reunion by Rick Hautala.

Posted on Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 06:20PM by Registered CommenterDark Scribe Magazine in | Comments Off

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend