I read this powerful story after enjoying Wendy Darling’s wonderful review, and following her link to it. In the hands of a master writer, a short stoI read this powerful story after enjoying Wendy Darling’s wonderful review, and following her link to it. In the hands of a master writer, a short story can speak volumes about the human condition, and the joys and pain that life can bring - so much so that you may be left shaking your head. In this case, you may also notice that your heart is still pounding as your mind struggles to digest the last of it.
Identical twins can have shared secrets, and parallel thoughts, that most of us can only glimpse through stories like this one. Secret fears, on the other hand, are present in greater or lesser degree for all of us. We can run from them, but we cannot hide from our own thought processes, and there are times when we can’t control them either. In the right time and circumstance, such fears can literally take over our lives.
The neuroscientist in me has some understanding of how our brains can do such things to us, but I will restrain myself from that digression here. Well, except for saying that the thinking, reasoning brain can be overwhelmed, at least briefly, by the primal fear response. As adults, we can develop mental tricks to regain control. But children are still developing the circuitry and the techniques for doing this, and they may not be so lucky.
In this masterfully written tale, one identical twin can read the other’s thoughts, and can understand the desperation to avoid a situation that will expose a secret fear, without feeling that fear himself. These plot elements play out in a spellbinding tale that quickens the pulse, and reveals the mysterious power of the mind for both good and ill. For me, it was a great reminder of just how much meaning and drama can be packed into a few thousand exquisitely chosen words. Very highly recommended. ...more