Thursday, October 27, 2011

Her Husband's Hands

Short Story by Adam-Troy Castro

The Army has found a great new way to reduce the number of deaths in a pointless but very deadly war. They preserve whatever bits of a person remain, and attach them to metal life support units with the last backup of their memory. Bob comes back to his wife as a pair of hands. And his hands have PTSD.

This is the story of a woman trying to hold herself together for the sake of her marriage, trying to decide if she can come to love the very different man that her husband became while he was at war. The fantastic premise highlights the absurd and hard-to-cope-with plight of the wife in an interesting way. The support group scene, in particular, is powerful, sad, and darkly humorous. I like how they both tell everyone they're all right, to avoid having to deal with other people "helping".

It was sad, and absurd, and makes some important points, but I did find the story a bit more dull than I'd expected. Not sure there is much of anything to do about this, he did capture the both husband and wife's anger, frustration, and grief. I do like the conclusion, but the whole thing just doesn't stand out as great to me, just good.

3.5 bits of husband out of 5.

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