By Colin Fleming
Outpost19, $16.00, 166 pages
Dark March holds a collection of tales that take the ordinary events of life and turns them on their heads. From an island that longs for adventure to a lobster keychain with the seemingly singular purpose of cutting its owner’s leg, Colin Fleming uses humor and sometimes crude imagery to evoke a sense of odd wonder about this world of ours.
“He almost lost it when one of the others said that the hermit crab probably just wanted a decorative hat, and that hermit crabs were very vain.”
Whether the occasional literary reference bolsters the mood or effect of particular stories is debatable. The more interesting moments seem to be when animals or inanimate objects are imbued with a personality or voice of their own. One such example is illustrated in the following passage: “–an octopus had spit out a hermit crab who had placed a sea anemone on his head. Sea anemones were not tasty to octopi. He almost lost it when one of the others said that the hermit crab probably just wanted a decorative hat, and that hermit crabs were very vain.”
If you’re looking for irreverent humor and unusual perspectives in your short story reading then perhaps Dark March will keep you entertained.
Reviewed by Jon Sanetel