Lets set the scene: You are approached by a mysterious stranger who offers you the chance to make all your wishes come true. The catch? You only have to work one day per year. Do you take the opportunity?
In regards to the main character of The Gatekeeper written by Scottish Author Kevin J. Kennedy the answer is yes. This short fiction horror tale “was originally written for the Black Candy Halloween anthology by Jaded Books Publishing” as stated within the novel. The tale itself is told to us through the use of the first person narrative and perspective of the main character, The Gatekeeper himself, making for an intriguing read right from the very first page! The Gatekeeper – pre occupation – is a drunk who appears to spend the majority of his time drinking in a bar in which he can get alcohol at a cheap price. It is here that he is approached by a mysterious ‘devil-looking’ individual who offers him the chance of a lifetime and so the events begin to unfold.
Without going into much detail for fear of simply retelling the story I can say that the following events which play out within the story make for an entertaining read! The balance within the story of the gains and consequences of the job which The Gatekeeper must carry out is intriguing and even for such a short story the character is made easily relatable through his choices.
This screenshot is taken from the Kindle Edition of The Gatekeeper short story and shows a brief overview of the wishes which the character makes. Each wish or request since being granted the assurance that they will come to pass have been selfish ones. Whilst this may not be a part of the story which features one of the monsters which travel through the trap door, the choices made by the character show a different sort of monster: the monsters which we as humans can be when driven by our own selfish desires and dreams… However, if given this chance, how many of us would truly make wishes which benefit others opposed to ourselves? The selfish nature of humanity which is loosely explored in this story and that is one thing which makes this short tale all the more intriguing to me.
So, my final thoughts on The Gatekeeper by Kevin J. Kennedy? Well, first of all, let me start off by stating that I do not normally read short works of fiction. Normally the books and novels I read are filled with pages and pages of detailed fantasy worlds and characters with complex backstories and the likes. However, after reading this short fiction novel I have discovered a love for short fiction that I didn’t know I had! Whilst I may have missed the lack of detail which I normally get in the other books I read and despite the lack of character information – such as a name to put to The Gatekeeper as well as any sort of description – the short fiction story provided me with an easy and enjoyable read overall and a desire for more!
If you are interested in reading Kevin J. Kennedy’s other works and collaboration pieces then feel free to have a look at his website or goodreads page, the links of which will be provided below:
Website: Kevin’s Website
Goodreads: Kevin’s Goodreads Author Page