The Memory Man, a short story by Helen Smith

23624909Pages: 50

Reading time: about 30 minutes

Making her way through a dark cafeteria in what may well be an even darker warehouse, Sarah comes across Valerie, asleep in a chair and wrapped in a blanket. Next to her, a dead body…which they put in a disused fridge whilst they try to decide what to do.

Neither is sure. It is dark. They are scared. And they have no idea how they got here. No memories at all in fact. Which means they aren’t sure what is outside the door and at the end of the corridor. Valerie decides to try and find out, leaving Sarah alone and afraid, only to come back with strange stories and fragments of memories that may or may not be hers and a name that may or may not be the dead mans.

The where and the why are a nice twist in this story, which was well written with good pace. It packs a lot into its 50 pages. For some reason, I had in my head that it would be a crime story but it is more supernatural and spooky and I liked that. Sarah and Valerie and the Memory Man himself were interesting and there was so much not said, building the tension. I really wanted to know how they had ended up in the room and what would happen to them, which meant that for me, the story ended a little too soon. I would have liked a few more pages and a little more plot. Still enjoyed it though and would recommend to anyone with half an hour to spare.

Emma

6 comments
  1. I like your review style, Emma. Very authentic :). Would love to feature your reviews in our weekly curated email digest that goes out to thousands of people.

    1. Thanks. Would be interested in finding out more. Saw an email address when clicked on your name so will email if that’s ok?

  2. Sounds interesting – thanks so much for sharing Emma. I don’t usually like supernatural novels and have been surprised a few times when I’ve been taken there (when expecting something else). Of course if it’s done well then it can be great!

    1. I don’t often do supernatural either – well, unless there are vampires – but a short story I can manage!

  3. […] Rose won the BBC national short story award for 2015 and – like yesterday’s The Memory Man – has a supernatural element to it as a psychic tries to help a family find out what has […]

  4. […] stories made the list here, BBC national short story winner Briar Road by Jonathan Buckley and The Memory Man by Helen Smith. Both took different looks at the world of psychics, showing how being able to talk […]

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