‘A Since Warning about the entity in your home’ is a short read, just long enough to properly draw you in to its twisted little world but still short enough to be comfortably devoured in one sitting. Written in the form of a letter, sent to the owner of a new property from the unknown previous tenant, writer Jason Arnopp slowly and gradually reveals a disturbing tale. It’s purpose is simple; to present the properties new incumbent with the facts of the situation and let them know of the extreme measures that will be necessary for them to escape a suitably grisly fate.
The plot is, admittedly, fairly simple, playing second fiddle to the rather neat novelty in the concept itself. As the letter writer wishes to remain anonymous there’s a strange impartiality to this story, it contains very few of the details necessary to let you connect with the character, but that’s all part of the threat. In fact, despite this sense of disconnection, there’s one moment right at the end of the sixth page which simultaneously jump starts the plot and brings the terrible fate this man (or woman) has endured crashing home. Up to that point, which I won’t spoil, I was mildly invested in this unusual novelty, and from that moment on I was hooked.
All in all I enjoyed this read, accepting it for what it is, a small diversion that plants creepy ideas in your head. Whether they take root or not probably depends on the reader’s own disposition.
Reading around the net a few people have scoffed at the far-fetched ending, but I would argue it is entirely suitable. The story follows a logical progression, and if you accept ghosts and demons are real I see no reason not to follow this very dramatic conclusion. In fact the threat that the reader is faced with this entity; faced with this terrible fate, and there is a potential way out that involves a truly awful procedure, is fascinating. Of course you’re supposed to be able to escape this fate, there’d be no fun if that was impossible, but would you want to go through that?
Recommended for any fans of short fiction, any fans of supernatural horror, and particularly for any of the above who have just moved house. ‘A Sincere Warning…’ has only a few goals in its existence but gladly I can report it ticks most of them off with considerable aplomb.
(P.S. As a test I handed the book to my partner. She read one page and hated it. And I mean that in the best way possible – genuinely hated the eerie similarities between the contents and our life, and she refuses to read any further. My name, is after all, Tom…)