The Lesson by Joyce Ward

The Lesson by Joyce Ward
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (62 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

A rebellious, young woman and her stoned boyfriend learn an important and frightening lesson after behaving badly in a mortuary.

Warning signs exist for a reason, but Kevin and Pamela aren’t about to let that stop them from figuring out what all the fuss is about.

Including basic backstories for the two main characters was a smart decision. Early on in this tale they make a decision that I would have otherwise found hard to believe. Knowing what kind of people they were made it easy to understand how their minds work and why they would consider this kind of choice to be a good one.

There was one plot hole that I would have liked to see addressed in this tale. It was something that I definitely would have expected at least one of the characters to notice right away, so figuring out why it wasn’t being mentioned was distracting. Had this not been the case, I would have selected a much higher rating for this story as I really enjoyed everything else about it.

Horror doesn’t always have to include blood. There are plenty of ways to frighten an audience without getting gory, and Ms. Ward spooked me with quite a few of them. I was so interesting in discovering what would happen to Kevin and Pamela next that I read the whole thing in one sitting, and I made sure to keep the lights on for a few hours after I finished it. Some images really shouldn’t be rattling around in my mind in the dark!

The Lesson made me shudder. It’s something I’d recommend to both longterm and brand new fans of the scary side of science fiction.

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