Tuesday, May 9, 2017

M. K. Theodoratus - Hear That Damn Owl?: A Tale of Andor

19. Hear That Damn Owl?: A Tale of Andor by M. K. Theodoratus (2014)
The Tales From the World of Andor Series Book 7
Length: 12 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started/Finished: 9 May 2017
Where did it come from? From Amazon
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 3 April 2015
Why do I have it? I like short stories and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

The residents of the world of Andor live in a parallel realm very much like our own. However, the major difference between our world and that of Andor - is that the curtain between the physical world and the supernatural one is much thinner than we would think. As a result of this, the residents of Andor are quicker than most people to ascribe a supernatural or magical motive to everything that happens.

Crayton is already in a foul mood as he travels along the back roads that lead to his hometown. His idiotic brother is lying comatose in the hospital after an horrendous car accident, and according to their mother the gravely injured man is apparently on his deathbed. Crayton is livid with this particular situation. After all, he's fairly certain that his brother was drunk at the time of his accident; so even if the fool is anywhere close to meeting his maker, he only has himself to blame - not Crayton.

Yet thanks to his meddlesome mother, Crayton is currently driving back to be by his brother's bedside. He is beyond furious with himself for his silent acquiescence to her demands, because he's answering the urgent maternal summons to see his brother under threat of immediate disinheritance. He's a grown man for heaven's sake; with a fast-paced career and his own life to live!

Actually to be perfectly honest, Crayton's not entirely sure why he came back here at all. He doesn't have the time to travel anywhere, let alone the patience to allow himself to be guilted into seeing his annoying family. In his mind, Crayton may need to play his role as a dutiful son and concerned brother for a while; but that certainly doesn't mean that he has to like it!

His dark mood plummets even further as he pulls into an old service station on the other side of the mountain - directly across from his home. Crayton immediately regrets having to stop there; even if it's just to get gas and some refreshments. From the lack of any modern amenities, to the incredibly superstitious locals; everything about the place just screams: 'Welcome to the Backend of Nowhere!'

To make matters even worse, Crayton begins to see a huge owl flying around the gas station; repeatedly divebombing vehicles around the parking area. While it is stunning to see such a massive creature flying around during daylight hours; Crayton finds the owl's constant screeching particularly unnerving. An elderly man - a down-on-his-luck decrepit storyteller - warns Crayton against crossing such an owl. Apparently, he knows from firsthand experience what a disgruntled owl is actually capable of doing; he has been the target of his own peculiar campaign of vengeance for most of his life.

However, as Crayton watches the giant bird carry out its deliberate campaign of harassment - taking an almost fiendish delight in targeting his own automobile; he can't help but become more and more enraged by the situation. When it seems as if he can no longer stand the creature's very presence, he takes matters into his own hands and does something incredibly drastic. After his initial actions have a small measure of success, Crayton is thoroughly relieved to see the last of the vengeful owl. He silently congratulates himself for handling the situation and dealing with the flying pest.

Surely, the folktales shouldn't be taken so seriously. After all, no one really believes them; they're only supposed to provide a dash of local flavor. However when strange things begin happening, Crayton can only hope that his imagination is playing tricks on him. Because if it isn't - and the folklore is actually true - Crayton isn't absolutely sure if he can escape the wrath of such a supremely determined owl.

Actually, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. It was a fast read, and I couldn't help but feel like the main character deserved to have his superiority complex knocked around a little bit. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. I give this book an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

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