Thursday, November 30, 2006

"Sins of the Father" by Tom Sweeney

From: Fedora: Private Eyes and Tough Guys, ed. Michael Bracken, Wildside Press, 2001.

As its title suggests, this story is about the past echoing into the present. It begins with the protag, an east Texas sheriff, breaking up a dispute between two teenage boys. The sheriff is supposed to be the impartial voice of reason, but one of the boys is his son Harold and the other, Brad, is the son of his old nemesis, Seth.

The sheriff fears Harold will discover how he finally dealt with Seth back in high school, and will give Brad similar treatment. This ten-page story is so well mined with secrets; just when you think Harold's caught on to everything, Sweeney saves one more revelation for the last paragraph.

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