Fiction Friday: Feeding Mr. Whiskers

My first novella, City of Kaiju, is finally out! Available through Amazon and Books2Read. You can see a preview of the very first chapter here. Help support a fresh new author with a fantastic read this spring season.

Fiction Friday is a series where I talk about what I’ve been reading. Short Stories (and sometimes Novellas) are featured as in-between posts and the first Friday of the month will feature a new novel review. Today, I review Feeding Mr. Whiskers by Dawn Bonanno.

Busy week as usual. But this time, it worked out in my favor. Today’s story is Feeding Mr. Whiskers by Dawn Bonanno, as featured in Bards and Sages Quarterly and originally in Fireside Fiction. You can either read it here or buy an issue here. I figured I’d try and go through some more independent publications and smaller magazines to seek some good fiction. I have actually read this story before and at one point considered reviewing it. But better late than never I guess. Let’s see what this is about.

Mr. Whiskers and the Laundry Monster

Melanie is your average kid who lives a normal life, until she’s tasked with going into the basement to feed her cat, Mr. Whiskers. But a creepy monster lurks down there. The two must survive if they hope to have dinner in peace and quiet.

This is a shorter tale again, but this one has been a favorite of mine. It’s super simple, yet has so much packed into so few words. I’m always amazed when authors do this. It makes it feel like a small short. The plot is as simple as it can get, but it’s much more than that. It’s as complete of a tale as it can get.

I really like how innocent and brave Melanie is throughout. She has such a powerful imagination that it almost makes you wonder if this is real or if she’s just imagining it. Plus, she’s cute to read. Her personality shines through, like a child battling scary monsters and a parent thinking nothing of it.

The pure innocence is where this story shines. It’s such a whimsical story and perfect for my tastes. It really takes you back to being a kid and facing monsters in the dark, dank basement. Towards the end, she calls upon a boy made entirely of socks, named Sam (Sock-Em Sam). Who knew if this mold monster was real, but with the power of a child’s imagination, she can conquer all.

Fireside (and to an extent, Bards and Sages) tend to publish a lot of older and even mature fiction (Fireside is also know for its liberal activism, even going as far as to shun Trump in its bio page). This really could have appeared anywhere and didn’t seem too dark to be placed in a magazine for younger audiences. As for me, it really made a mark on me as it takes you back to being a kid.

Or perhaps the readers have kids of their own and can relate to this. The best part of being young is their overactive imagination (my nephew alone is an indication of that). The creativity shines in the writing too. It has that whimsical tone and the descriptions of the two entities, Mold Monster and Sock Boy Sam, are vivid and clear enough that it could be anything. Creepy, cute, or at the very least moldy and smelly.

I kinda do want to see this a bit longer, maybe pushing a little over 2000, but I do think it’s fine as is. This is a type of story parents could tell to their children. It’s always fun seeing a kid and their incredible imagination play a central role in the story, especially in this ordinary world with little to no magic. After all, imagination is the best magic around.

Final Thoughts

Not much else to add here. It’s still as fun as when I read it back then. A fun tale with powerful imagination and whimsical fun. As the innkeeper of a fantasy inn built on imagination, I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Score:

+ Adorable

+ Whimsical imagination.

+ An all ages story

+ Great story for short fiction.

Final Score:

5/5 – Amazing story.

That’s all for today. If you liked this post and want to see more, I have a Ko-Fi page set up. Why spend three bucks on a Starbucks Coffee when you can help support hard-working authors like me? Every bit helps and keeps me going. So thank you, and remember, the inn is always open.

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