FRAGILE DREAMS by Philip Fracassi (Journalstone Publishing)
Young Matthew Calvert is about to have one of the most important events of his life, the big job interview. He is literally at the receptionist’s desk awaiting instruction as to how long and where to wait for his call when there is a low tremble, then a violent pitch. Before we can catch our breath the entire city is rocked by an immense earthquake. Matthew doesn’t get his big interview. He gets buried under rubble, trapped in a dark and dusty womb of rock and metal and broken glass. Injured and terrified, he soon discovers he is not alone. There is a fellow survivor, close enough to talk to but there are other things in the dark with them. They scuttle and dig and bite.
I’ve been a fan of the work of Philip Fracassi since I read his chapbook, MOTHER, earlier this year. He followed that with another entitled ALTAR, which I also liked. I have since been lucky enough to call this man a friend and read many stories of his (some published, some not) and I can tell you that he is a man with a lot to give. His other gig of screenwriting makes his style a little different than most. He writes in a lean and mean way that is very clear and clever in orchestration.
With FRAGILE DREAMS, he brings his horrors to a new level. There is a deeply tragic and sad sense of horror at work here. A helplessness and fear-stitched quilt that covers our main character as he lays injured in the darkness and ponders his future–a future.
A short but poignant read, I can’t recommend enough. (John Boden)