Perfect Little Town by Blake Crouch is a short story I read through Kindle Unlimited. Ron tells a tale of a visit he made with his wife Jessica to Lone Cone, a small village, population 317. They hadn’t planned to visit Lone Cone but were glad they did. Everything was the definition of quaint. Everyone was smiling and friendly. There was an old English style of spelling to the street signs that stuck in their minds. The day was perfect. Then came the night.
After dark, it was as if the town didn’t exist. There was a hotel, manned by a clerk, but there were no rooms to be had. There was a restaurant, empty of customers except for Ron and Jessica. At least they would have something to eat and drink while they contemplated where to spend the night. But the food was not to their liking. Jessica had never liked roaches and fishhooks. Food shouldn’t cut, hurt, or crawl away. Ron could probably repair some of the immediate damage to Jessica’s mouth; he was, after all, a doctor (even though Jessica liked to emphasize that he was only a plastic surgeon).
But Ron couldn’t defeat the bear, Jessica would always be a part of the bear. And he couldn’t sew up the gash in the neck of the semi-nude Viking woman pursuing him, even though he had put the gash in her neck with an ice ax. The objective for Ron was to escape; he couldn’t fight the entire town. He did escape with a bit of help from a passing truck driver who had been one of the local inhabitants of Lone Cone.
A few years later, Ron returned to Lone Cone with a different wife. Why did he return after years? Why was nothing done in the years prior to his return? This is an interesting well told short story. The best writing skill in the book is the setting descriptions of the town both in the day and night.
And the explanation for all that occurred makes the story worth reading to the end.