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Uncontainable by Helen Stubbs

Uncontainable by Helen Stubbs 

This story comes from Apex magazine, the December issue of 2016. 

I really like this story.  From the begininning it hooks you in and doesn't really let you go.  it starts out with a woman who moves into a boarding house.  In the house there is a child that no one calls by particular name.  She decides to give her a name and try's to communicate with her.  That's where the strangeness begins. 

When the woman moved into the boarding house she finds out the family that owns the house has 2 children.  The girl with no name and a small baby boy named Alfred.  Since the woman would like to refer to the girl by name, she secretly names her Rochelle.   

Rochelle is usually confined to her room because she has tantrums like that of demonic possession.  She throws things, breaks things, and goes generally ape shit bananas breaking things.  Also, other than profanity doesn't speak to anyone. 

One night when everyone is supposed to be sleeping the woman sees Rochelle's door open.  She walks to the door to see what is going on. Rochelle was staring at the moon when she says some freaky stuff to the woman about a person named Henny.  And then wouldn't ya know who show's up the next morning; a woman named Henny. 

Well, Henny turns out to be an old woman with special milk, but every time Henny comes around the house with milk for Alfred, Rochelle goes berserk.  it usually takes all three woman in the house to restrain her from hurting herself or breaking things around the house.  That leaves nobody to answer the door and greet Henny. 

Eventually as the story progresses weirder things start to happen and they center around Rochelle and Henny.  The climax of the story is really great.  There is also a bit of twist at the very end.  Not so much a twist, as it is an additional paragraph that made me chuckle. 

I like how Helen Stubbs introduced her characters from the get go.  They were fleshed out just enough for the short piece in my opinion.  The lead up, through the middle of the story, was well written and kept my interest.  There was a constant tension that I felt I had to keep reading because I wanted to know how it ended.  The climax was good and Helen Stubs ended the story with a finish that was sastifying.


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