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The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell
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Robert Harris
Awakening of the Heart: Essential Buddhist Sutras and Commentaries
Thich Nhat Hanh

Fall by Alex Draven

Fall - Alex Draven

When I saw this little freebie on Smashwords part of me thought it sounded good, and another part of me experienced a sort of horrified facination (centaurs?? Does that mean horse dicks???). Haha, no fear, there is no centaur-sex in this story so you can rest easy. In brief, the reason why this story gets 3.5 stars  (3 on GR) instead of four is that it is too short, and had some editing issues. The story itself was quite enjoyable. Spoilers after the cut.


Pet is a loner after the tragic murder of his boyfriend, Dios, by his (former) herd stallion. Lamed in the tragedy that took Dios' life he spends his time doing programming in a converted warehouse (centaurs being rather inconvenient to house in a human-sized home) and drinking his sorrows away. One day Mathias, a young male centaur from his old herd shows up at his door, saying he doesn't have anywhere else to go.


The story is told from Pet's point of view. He's quarrelsome, and self-pitying, and drunk, and prone to fits of rage which he takes out on anyone near him, even himself. He's certainly a hard person to love, but as his story comes out it begins to make more sense. It's the standard 'driving everyone way from me' motivation, but it does make sense for his character. One thing that I do appreciate is that he is written as a person with a horse body. Little details like the concrete floor of the warehouse being covered in rubber mats, or the way he wants to kick in frustration near a pile of debris, but is too nervous of accidentally hurting his already lame legs. The way his skin twitches like a horse's and the way his canon bones hurt when he abuses them.


The relationship with Mathias isn't quite as well developed, however. Pet mentions having babysat for the herd's foals, which included Mathias, but there doesn't seem to be much connection between the two despite that. Even after Mathias showed up at Pet's front door Pet seems to feel primarily nothing but irritation toward him. The outcome of the story really isn't unexpected unless you focus purely on the age-difference. Mathias steps in and reorganizes Pet's life, starts limiting his access to alcohol and cigarettes and makes him eat better--all actions of a 'good' herd stallion. It's really a shame that the story is so short because it feels like this is merely an introduction to their relationship, not the whole story. This would be a much better story if it were to be expanded. Mathias has plans for a revolution against the bad stallion back in their home herd, what are they? Centaurs, and other magical non-human creatures face persecution by society, how is that dealt with? and so on. These are all things that I was left wondering about and should be dealt with in a longer story.


Finally, there were several mistakes in editing that make me think the author did all the editing himself. "Heard" was used instead of "herd" several times, for example. The story was less than 10,000 words so it's not like it couldn't have been edited easily by a friend.


Neither of these things are fatal flaws (editing can be fixed, stories can be expanded on, etc). Over all this is a nice short story with some unique MCs