Forced Entry by Steve M is either the title of this novel or is Book One in a Forced Entry series. Then, the title of this novel is The Unraveling. I don’t feel bad about being confused from the beginning because I am reading a story by Steve M. If you read the material before the story begins, you will learn that Steve escaped the corporate world with all its restrictions in search of income-producing work that would allow him more freedom. This escape might have included discarding all letters in his last name except for the first initial. Where I live M (but spelled Em) is a common appellation indicating a close relationship between speaker and listener. Maybe that is what this author wanted.
For the most part, this story has two characters who don’t meet. They are the Narrator and Kid. Readers will learn that Kid has a name, Taylor, but we will never really know the name of Narrator. This practice follows the pattern of the author’s name. Narrator grows and presumably distributes pot. The operation is big and sophisticated. Narrator has set up four houses as interior hydroponic farms for marijuana. There are security systems and automatic devices that cause neighbors to think the homes are occupied. Narrator can monitor all parts of the houses at any time but does so only when something unusual happens, such as someone entering the house whether vagrant, thief, or cop.
Taylor falls into the category of a homeless person looking for a place to sleep. We can check off the thief category if Taylor takes things when deciding to leave. Taylor’s unexpected entry has triggered Narrator’s surveillance devices, and Narrator must make decisions. Police are out of the question, but what to do about Taylor? If allowed to leave, Taylor would most certainly talk to others, and the security integrity of the house would be destroyed.
In the extended dialogue between Taylor and Narrator that occupies most of this short story, Taylor manages to impress Narrator so much that Narrator considers sending Taylor from Mississippi to California where Taylor will come under the wing of a crime confederate. Whether that is a real possible outcome or merely something Narrator promises will be up for the reader to decide.
But no matter the decision, plans fall apart. Someone had found out about the real purpose of the house and there is a raid by two cops. That is a good thing because Taylor will be arrested and be safe from Narrator, right? That might be true, but only if the police were not corrupt. They were evil. Narrator’s problems have multiplied exponentially.
Read this short story for its smart presentation of the plot through dialogue. Narrator’s beliefs and lifestyle are also mysterious. I was unsure about the Narrator up to the conclusion of the story. Even at that point, I could be wrong. I gave this short story five Amazon stars because I don’t often see stories presented in a way that leaves me so baffled about what is going on with the characters. I will read more by this author even though some of the author’s published work is science fiction. I am not a fan of science fiction, but I am a fan of good writing.
This short story is available for purchase on Amazon for USD 0.00.