SPOILER ALERT!

The Fleshless Man by Norman Prentiss

The Fleshless Man - Norman Prentiss

 

I won this novella from Darkfuse. Beware, this review has slight spoilers!

To be honest, I'm not sure what to make of this story.


A young man, Curtis, returns home because his mother is dying. He goes back to a house where, when he was growing up, he felt suffocated. This is the house where his brother still lives.


While there, Curtis begins having some dark thoughts and dreams. Thoughts involving his mother's death, his brother, and his partner Lauren. He dreams that his mother's nurse tells his mom a story at her bedside. The story of the fleshless man. But was the story actually real? Did he dream this dream as a result of his guilt about leaving his brother with his dying mom?


I liked the descriptions of the fleshless man-they were extremely vivid and creepy. I also enjoyed how the author explored the feelings of guilt and resentment between mother and son. Who hasn't felt those feelings about their parents at some point or another? I just don't know if the fleshless man was something that Curtis dreamed up or was he/it real? Did he create the fleshless man in his head as a way to deal with the death of his mother? Perhaps it is supposed to be left up to the reader to decide? I usually enjoy stories of an ambiguous nature, but this one left me a bit confused. I did enjoy it, though and I feel that the fleshless man will be staying in my head, at least for a little while.