Title // BURN
Author // Sophie Carlon
Publication Date // January 2017
Publisher // Self Published
Genre // Magical Realism
“Would you like to hear a story? I’m guessing that’s why you’re here. Well, once there was a baby who had a fever that wouldn’t break. When the doctors touched him their hands would blister and the ice baths would evaporate. The baby was fine by the way – he gurgled and did what happy babies do. It was everyone else that panicked. “
A man who suffers from a condition where he spontaneously bursts into flame is living out his final days, remembering his lover, and trying desperately to avoid the hate of those who don’t understand him.
BURN is a self-published short story by Sophie Carlon, about a man who has lived his life with a condition that sees him spontaneously burst into flames. Hated and feared by those who do not understand, he’s living out his final days in isolation, remembering his life and his lover and trying to find some measure of peace.
BURN has an incredible atmosphere. For such a short story, Carlon wove the story of a man who that was evocative and enthralling. We see the world through the eyes of the main character – a harsh, threatening, unyielding world – that no longer wants him. We feel his anguish, heartbreak and fears.
I do wish it had been longer, but perhaps that is the beauty of the short story – a tale that captures our attention for only a brief moment, and leaves us with plenty to think about.
Overall, I gave BURN 4 out of 5 stars.