Kevin Lucia's novella, And I Watered It with Tears, is a tense, methodical tale about a man who can't – who refuses – to remember the truth. It's a ghost story, of sorts (don't want to spoil the ending!) and it leads the reader along on a ghastly non-linear journey to discover that truth.
The main character, Andrew, has bills piling up, was fired from a teaching position and is underemployed in a county job. To make matters worse, he's dealing with a painful divorce.
While waiting in line to pay his electric bill, he meets Deyquan and several others waiting to do the same, only with different situations. Deyquan, for instance, only decided to stop in on a whim to pay his bill early. A decision he soon regrets.
Just before the bill collection agency closes, one of the women in line discovers a dead body in the bathroom. At first, suicide is assumed. But they learn that it was not suicide, and clearly it was no accident. What follows is a “dark and stormy night” of death and discovery.
Lucia does a good job of slowly putting all of the pieces of the puzzle together. The character voices are distinct and the atmosphere is suitably creepy. While at 68 pages it's not long enough to delve into the lives of each player, there are enough details to paint vivid pictures of each of their personalities and backgrounds.
He uses William Blake's poem “The Poison Tree” nicely as part of the reveal, and there's definitely a subtle Stephen King vibe to the writing and in the way the characters are forced together to discover the truth before it's too late. Overall, an enjoyable and quick read.
[Note: The reviewer received a free copy for review.]
And I Watered It with Tears by Kevin Lucia will appear in the year-end Volume One issue of Lamplight Magazine, and is also available serialized in the first four issues of Lamplight Magazine (all currently available in eBook stores).
Nancy O. Greene started writing at the age of nine. Her short story collection, Portraits in the Dark, received a brief mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007. Other works have appeared or will appear in ChiZine; Lovecraft eZine; Cemetery Dance; Tales of Blood and Roses; Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror; Shroud Publishing's The Terror at Miskatonic Falls; Dark Recesses; Flames Rising; Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore! and others. She has a BA in Cinema (Critical Studies) and a minor in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Southern California, and is a Fellow of Film Independent's Project:Involve.