Charles Dickens told his tale through the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Alexandra Lanc brings her confident schemer to the crossroads through an alien’s presence on a train, an alien who looks with simultaneous abhorrence and adoration on the protagonist, and whose gift is to reveal what the future holds.
The protagonist has a gift of persuasion and a future filled with promises of success. Why waste time worrying about anyone else? But mistakes of the past might have formed her more than she knows, and refusing to learn might fuel even greater mistakes. The stranger doesn’t teach, just shows, past, present and what’s to come. And the lesson becomes clear.
The setting’s intriguing—a future world where alien and human live side by side, and gentle skills might wield unconscionable power. The deceptively simple telling of a new graduate catching a train pulls the reader in. And the mystery of past and future is intriguingly brought to life. The lesson’s well-learned too in this pleasingly modern, inspirational short story filled with echoes of our own present, past and future.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this short story from the author in exchange for my honest review.