The Darkness

The Darkness

A Short Tale of Uncommon Daring & Ultimate Defiance

Fiction - Fantasy - General
35 Pages
Reviewed on 01/31/2016
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

If you love where storytellers Neil Gaiman, Edgar Allan Poe, Roald Dahl, O. Henry, and Ray Bradbury take you, then you have a new name to learn and love...

Professionally, Justine Avery first traversed the murky corporate world of writing and designing technical documents to navigate through writing countless travel stories, reviews, personal essays, and articles. She is now the multi-award-winning author of numerous short stories and novelette-length works.

Personally, she has been writing since first falling in love with reading and words themselves. She has written under many different names in many different genres, and is finally coming "home" to write, as herself, the stories that transcend genre.

Avery has lived countless stories, takes note of the infinitely more all around, and loves and appreciates every kind. As an avid reader of all genres, both fiction and non, she knows we, as readers, may have preferences, but we’re all naturally fans of every genre... when we find the stories with real intrigue and universal appeal. Those are the stories she prefers to find... and write.

"Story's in everything we say and do. We live stories, imagine them, fear some of them. They're who we are. I find everything about life and in this big, wide world utterly fascinating. Stories should be the same. I hope you enjoy the hell out of mine."

Justine Avery loves to connect with fellow readers and writers, explorers and imaginers. You can find her at and on @Justine_Avery

    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.