Jayden’s Revenge by Dirk Knight
A small town family is wrecked after a murder tears them apart. Disturbing truths are revealed as one family member digs deeper to discover what really happened when the family lost a child. The story centres on Jayden, a troubled fifteen year-old who has lost her brother, as well as dealing with physical and substance abuse problems. Jayden is starting to exhibit behaviour like her mother, a diagnosed schizophrenic. Derrick, Jayden’s father is a bit overwhelmed by the circumstances until the end.
This is a short story which, without much effort could have been expanded to a novella size to include more background to this dysfunctional family. The story is edgy and fast paced and the characters are drawn well and quickly. There is a lot of introspection by the three main people in the story which is used to fill in some of the background of their lives.
The tension is cleverly heightened, firstly by the movement of Jaden as she runs from her friends birthday party to her home without shoes in the freezing cold, and secondly by the movement of her mother running and hiding in the house. The drug use portrayed by parents in this family is not glorified but is simply stated as an integral part of the story. This is not literature, but what it is, is a gritty scary story told with a bit of wit. Well done to a new writer and a solid debut work.