This is A SHORT STORY. It is intended for KU members who have been requesting short, sick, bedtime stories. As part of KU they are able to download this title for free. If you wish for a longer story to read, do not purchase any of the F*cked-Up Shorts titles. A good place to start would be The Black Cover Books (for lovers of extreme horror).
* What doesn’t kill you fucks you up mentally. *
The Funeral deals with grief, loss and redemption.
“You can expect twists & turns – be ready to feel a wide range of emotion.”
Never has a truer sentence been written.
Jason is a character that I can relate to.
He’s going through a bad time in his life right now. He is consumed with destructive thoughts, and wrestling with personal demons. Throughout the entire story I found myself laughing at one sentence, close to tears in the next sentence, and nodding my head in agreement at another.
Jason answers a late night phone call that gives him an ‘unexpected distraction’ from his self destructive thoughts, and it’s time for our second ride on that roller coaster!
It is so easy to see parts of myself in Jason, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who will feel this way.
I often find myself wondering if parts of certain stories are based on real events in the author’s life. I did that a lot in this book, especially when Jason thought about moments of happiness that the he shared with his mom. (Matt – go hug your mom!) Not every memory is a great one, there are regrets – just like real life.
The ending was a very unexpected script twist! Trust me… this is one that you wont see coming.
*BONUS POINTS for the ‘failed gas oven suicide attempt’!!
(Depression + OCD = hilarity!)
*EVEN MORE BONUS POINTS for Jason’s reasons to pass on each method on the internet’s ‘top ten’ list.
When newly weds Jason and Emily moved into their first home together they thought they had the perfect start to their new life together; a quiet house in the middle of the country away from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life.
Unfortunately for them, things take a supernatural turn when they realise the house isn’t quite as empty as they first believed it to be.
The book starts with an idealistic summer backdrop; idealistic if you don’t pay attention to the food burning on the grill, or the huge puddle of blood drying on the pavement. I knew I was in for a ride when I had tears in my eyes at the end of the first chapter.
Fast forward in time a bit to meet Jason & Emily. Newlyweds who put off their honeymoon to purchase their dream home. They arrive, with their dog Roald, just before the moving truck. (Fun Fact: Notice the dogs name? – Leave me a comment if you get it.) We notice strange happenings before they’re even moved in. Once they are, Roald picks up on something – like all pets are known to do.
Jason begins to take notice when doors in the house start slamming closed, but he can’t find the source of a draft no matter how hard he looks.
To weird him out a little more, he gets a surprise visit from Aimee, a strange woman who claims to have once lived in his house. He thinks she looks looney, but, her husband, Ian, comes to collect her – promising it will never happen again. He tells Emily about it, and gets her properly bugged, too. (This bit plants a seed for our minds to silently cultivate while we continue reading.)
While laying in bed with Em that night, having a tiff about how unproductive his days are while she’s off at work, they hear a commotion coming from downstairs. He goes to investigate & finds one of the boxes he neglected to unpack had fallen over, spilling it’s contents onto the floor. He returns to bed, leaving the mess until morning, (and further irritating his wife). The next morning, when Em thanks him for picking up, and knowing he did no such thing, Jason starts to freak out. Could that woman have returned in the night? Is she here now? Roald, you didn’t do this, did ya? (To which he replies O.o – then licks his butt).
By the time Emily gets home from work, Jason has it all figured out. They are sharing their home with the ghost of an eight year old boy, Josh Tomsett, the son of the houses previous owners.
In my best Steffon character voice…
“This book has everything! Ouija boards, surprises, heartbreak, and twists… That thing from the movie Poltergiest where the living play games with the ghost in the kitchen!”
This is another of those stories that dragged my emotions through the ringer. I laughed out loud, cried, got angry, got scared… And, as it always happens to me, during one key moment towards the end… great big huge scary noise from the other room! (Upon investigation, it was the ‘shower caddy’, the thing holding all the shampoos and soaps, it fell right off the side of the shower at a perfect moment. It’s strange how things like that happen!
The only other thing I’ll say is this – we’re in Matt’s world, there are no happy endings.
* The Lost Son also includes a bonus story from the recently published collection SHORTS, titled AS I LAY STILL
I’m a closet geek. Well, as I like to say… geek by day, nerd by night!
In geek speak, an easter egg is a secret message, credit or screen hidden in an application, game, or DVD. Easter eggs typically include a bonus feature or item but can include the names of the developers responsible for the application, extra levels, or bonus content.
Even though the term brings to mind electronic bonus material, I use it for literary bonus material. Those hidden gems authors slip in once in awhile. Matt is famous for them. I try to point out a couple of my favourites from every story, without spoiling things. A couple Easter Eggs in THE LOST SON…
Remember me pointing out the name of the dog?
Roald. I won’t ruin what I said earlier, if you ‘get it’, leave a note in the comments. Need a hint? Read my interview LOW TEA WITH MATT SHAW.
JOSH TOMSETT, our lead ghost in this story, borrows his name from our friend Kim Tomsett, (aka wistfulskimmie)! I’m sure you’ve seen her reviews on Amazon, or chatted with her on Matt’s Facebook wall.
I think it is really cool that Matt interacts and includes his fans throughout his writing process.
At one point, Emily, (while trying to get in touch with Ian Tomsett), was put on the spot when asked for her name. In a pinch, she uses the name Nurse Ratched, (made me laff!!). In case you can’t place the name, Nurse Ratched is the antagonist in the 1962 Ken Kesey novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and in the 1975 movie of the same title. The overbearing, cruel, perfectionist nurse rules the asylum in the story with an iron fist.
Any book nerd like me has called at least one nurse by this name in their lifetime!! Used creatively, you can turn it into an insult on almost anyone!
This can be taken so many ways!
Let’s talk about them all ♥ It could be because of a stupid ending, bad writing, bad editing, a certain character you abhor, even a bait & switch cover. (We won’t cover text-books here… “Then Satan said… “Let’s put words in math.”) We’ve all wanted to do this at some point.
What book sent you over the edge?
My bane is stories that go along fine, until the writer can’t think of an ending… this can go wrong in many ways. The worst – a story that has had no religious content whatsoever – ends with God saves the day. Then, there is the same concept – switching God with aliens/monsters/supernatural. Let’s not forget the “…and then he woke up & realized it was all just a dream…” bullshit excuse for an ending.
I don’t bitch too much about bad editing. Sure, I have my moments of annoyance (not comma misuse – comma ABUSE). IMHO, there are so many great writers that I may have missed had it not been for self-publishing. I can put up with a lot, more than the average person can. If I’m pissed enough – I’ll just go straight to the writer, virtually shake them, then offer up friends that will beta test and point out errors for them to go fix.
I have thrown a book when a beloved character dies, but never too hard, and never too far. Just enough for a slight hissy fit – not so far that I’d have to get completely off my ass to retrieve it. I’ve had to reign in my temper tantrums with my purchase of a Kindle. Can’t lose my library over Dumbledore!
Leave your best of your worst here in the comments! Interact with me, people! Let’s talk literature!