The Darkness

A Short Tale of Uncommon Daring & Ultimate Defiance

Fiction - Fantasy - General
36 Pages
Reviewed on 01/30/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Justine Avery is an award-winning author of stories large and small for all. Born in the American Midwest and raised all over the world, she is inherently an explorer, duly fascinated by everything around her and excitedly noting the stories that abound all around. As an avid reader of all genres, she weaves her own stories among them all. She has a predilection for writing speculative fiction and story twists and surprises she can’t even predict herself.

Avery has either lived in or explored all 50 states of the union, over 36 countries, and all but one continent; she lost count after moving 30-some times before the age of 20. She’s intentionally jumped out of airplanes and off the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, scuba dived unintentionally with sharks, designed websites, intranets, and technical manuals, bartered with indigenous Panamanians, welded automobile frames, observed at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noba, Japan, and masterminded prosperous internet businesses—to name a few adventures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree that life has never required, and at age 28, she sold everything she owned and quit corporate life—and her final "job"—to freelance and travel the world as she always dreamed of. And she’s never looked back.

She currently lives near Los Angeles with her husband, British film director Devon Avery, and their three adopted children: Becks, Sam, and Lia. She writes from wherever her curiosity takes her.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Darkness: A Short Tale of the Dawning of the Darkness is a fantasy short story written by Justine Avery. The village was brimming with fear of the darkness. It came each evening, laying waste to each and every thing that lay in its path. There were no solutions to and no reasoning with its implacable nature, so the villagers lived each dawn to dusk as fully as they were able, and they spent the evening warding off their foe. Lunam was very aware of the awesome responsibility he had in his family’s home each night. While he was still very small, he was charged with holding up his torch in one corner of the stone-walled cottage through the endless hours, until finally his father would declare his watch over and gently take the torch from his tired fingers. Each morning, Lunam and his brother Lux would rush out to play in the brilliant sunshine; sometimes they’d visit Stella and Videre, the elders of the village, and speak with Videre. The couple had survived the darkness for far longer than any before them, and they held the wisdom of the people in their minds. But when Lux and his brother knocked on the door, Stella’s eyes were sad as she opened the door, and she told them Videre was gone.

Justine Avery’s allegorical fantasy short story, The Darkness: A Short Tale of the Dawning of the Darkness, is an epic tale in miniature, jewel-like and rich in imagery as the reader watches villagers holding torches up against the darkness in night-long weary vigils. I was touched by the image of those villagers and the opening description of the Darkness, a living, breathing and horrific entity, played itself out in my imagination. Avery skillfully and adroitly builds up a world of post-apocalyptic dimensions and plants the reader squarely in the minds and imaginations of two young brothers who dare to question the status quo and challenge the night. This is a well-written story filled with richly developed characters, and it works wonderfully.


If you are afraid of the dark you may want to think twice about reading this Another well written short story from this author, the detail is exceptional and really makes you feel like you are there although that isn't necessarily a good thing in The Darkness! A very enjoyable read.

R Gibbs

Another great short story from this clever writer.

Loretta M. Siani

Just like a moth on your back porch can’t resist flying toward the light that you left on, so you’ll not be able to resist flying toward the light at the end of The Darkness -- at least I couldn't. Justine Avery has a real knack at keeping you keeping on…...Her words paint pictures….her metaphors intrigue…… And……. when you make it to the light at the end of The Darkness, guess what? You won’t be burned up like so many other moths are. Read it. You’ll love it. I did.

Literary Classics Book Re

What if being afraid of the dark was founded in a very real sense of self-preservation? Brothers Lux and Lunam live in a world where the shadows of darkness hold the power to snuff the very life from a living being. The boys have been taught, from a very young age, to fear the darkness with every fiber of their being.

Justine Avery's The Darkness is a spine-tingling short story that is pure magic and mysticism. The quality of writing, development of characters and imagery are all spot on. This short story packs a powerful punch as readers are drawn in and then thrilled with its rousingly good finale.

Glenn L. Nottingham

Justine Avery's allegory of human ignorance and discovery reminds one of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown". Both stories use darkness to generate the fear that ignorance creates.

The setting is perhaps post-apocalyptic. Avery's world in this fable lives in absolute terror of the dark, which the people understand as an ever-hungry force that eats light and life. The villagers, huddled against a forest, prep their homes against the dark like housepainters, "covering crevices and sealing cracks with previously prepared reams of paper, bolts of cloth ..." etc -- the point being, one must work very hard when there is a lack of understanding. Confused, fearful tales are handed down from one generation to the next.

The story focuses on two children, symbolically named Lux and Lunam (apart from being symbols simply as children), who do what all children must do: rebel against their circumstances. They are subtly inspired by the words of a village elder who may have lived long enough to have gleaned a thing or two, from simple longevity, about the darkness.

To say more is to spoil, but I think I can quote the last sentence without spoilage: " ... the tears of ancient suffering released and rained down over them both."

The lady can write.

5 out of 5.