Never have tendrils of dust been described as beautifully as in Caedem Marquez's haunting story about a boy whose home is nothing more than a tiny mud-baked box in the middle of a desert. Though his family is full of drunks, his strength is found in the calloused hands of his grandmother who shows him what a woman will do to protect all that she loves, even when the enemies are her own family.
It's hard to quantify what it is that makes a character become "lifelike" on paper. It could be any number of things. But an author's ability in this arena really stands out in the short story genre. With so few words to work with, how a character reacts to a situation becomes far more important than a wordy monologue.
Marquez's skill as a short story writer is certainly put on display in Bed Green. As the summary suggests, this is a beautifully written story. The characters are incredibly real. You are immediately sucked into the dusty world presented to you and can almost see every scene play out before your eyes.
The plot is deceptively simple. On the surface, the story plays out exactly how the summary describes. But in roughly 3,000 words, the author manages to delve into emotions such as the love between the grandmother and grandson, the son's relationship with mother and then later his father. What really impressed me was there was no real attempt to tug at my heartstrings. There was a down-to-earth matter-of-factness about the whole family dynamic presented which makes the impact on the reader even stronger.
There really isn't once specific target audience I could recommend this story too. It's not really something I could just say "hey, if you like science fiction, check it out!" Bed Green is a story that would appeal to people who like stories.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez