It seems fair to say that a short story, one that is only 25 pages long, needs to work even harder to fully engross the reader. There’s not enough to time for detailed character development or in-depth analysis of events, situations or locations. It’s got to be tight, interesting and still deliver a thrilling read.
You can find stories that last barely a train ride yet still deliver that feeling of time being lost. You know, when you’re so absorbed by what you’re reading that suddenly, it’s your stop and you almost want to miss it, just so you can keep reading.
This is the best way Keith Anthony Baird’s A Seed in a Soil of Sorrow can be described.
A short story that quickly grabs hold and refuses to let go until its shocking but satisfying conclusion.
When the death cult calls … what are you running from?
Based around a cult called the Viridian Chapter, our story is told in diary entries from a man called Tobias who has recently joined. This man quickly learns the ways of the cult’s leader, Hans Lehmann and discovers what fate awaits non-believers.
A strict but caring society, the appeal of the Viridian Chapter comes from the fact that many of its members have lived fractured lives and this is a chance for them to begin anew. Fresh and reborn under the ‘loving’ arms of Lehmann.
However, unlike most cult stories, one of the Viridian Chapter’s rules is non-fornication/love which proves to be a problem for Tobias and a young woman who recently became part of the community. Their only hope to sustain their love is to escape, something that will have them branded as non-believers.
The final few pages ensure this book is near impossible to put down and just when you think you can finally breathe again; it deals another blow with something completely unexpected. No spoilers here, but it will leave its desired effect on the psyche.
In a very short amount of time, Keith Anthony Baird will have you running a gambit of emotions. From intrigue to horror to sorrow to shock, all in a matter of 25 pages.
A Seed in a Soil of Sorrow (Keith Anthony Baird)
The Final Score - 9/10