On first coming to the end of this taut little tale I was a bit disappointed: is that it? But then I realized that the last line was perfect and the story really was done and that was all there was to it.
This is an atmospheric and well-drawn tale of a boy in a 1938 English boarding school, being bullied and wondering if he’s found a way out. It will feel familiar to anyone who has read C. S. Lewis’s memoirs about growing up and attending a school like this…or any fiction set in English public schools (what they call fee-paying schools). Heck, it’ll feel familiar to anyone who has watched the Human Nature/Family Of Blood episodes of Doctor Who.
Nevertheless, it is a unique and engrossing short tale with a chill in its bones and an absolutely delicious last line.