Strange Way Out by Troy Blackford is a short story I downloaded through Kindle Unlimited (KU). It is surreal in tone. As it started out I thought the protagonist was a high school teenager but Sammy was an unemployed twenty-six-year-old living with his mother. He had a secret so secret that he didn’t know it. If he felt threatened to live in the world of reality, he took another hit from something he had purchased through the internet then slipped back into a comfortable world that reacted only to immediate stimuli. His only concern was to make sure that his mother didn’t know.
But someone found out that he was doing something probably illegal. They came to get him in the guise of police officers. For most police officers the sidearm of choice is not a chainsaw. Sammy was locked up briefly but escaped after the explosion that blew the walls out of his jail. Then it was time to run. Men with chainsaws were chasing him. A text message told him to enter a bunker. Although a good suggestion, he found it difficult to do. After much pounding on the door, it opened suddenly on its own. Entering the completely dark bunker he was attacked by a wrench-wielding Legacy. She claimed that was her name (it wasn’t). Not trusting each other completely, they knew they had to escape from the bunker before the chainsaw wielders broke through the bunker door. There were many routes and tunnels they could choose for their flight but the octopus in pursuit had many tentacles so their choices were somewhat limited.
And that leads us to the surprise ending. It was creative and introduced me to a service used by Sammy, his mom and Amanda (also known as Legacy). This is an interesting short story written by an independent author of the type to be read when you are on a boring trip or in a boring meeting. Even the copyright notice at the beginning of the story is interesting. The author’s notes at the end led me to a fascinating short story website which seems to contain independent authors writing short submissions. I am still exploring it.