Does all human passion, all memory, all imagination come merely from the chemistry in our brains, like the movements of a clock follow from the arrangement of its cogs and wheels? Are we just clockwork dolls? Or is there an organizing principle at work, something we can ask for answers to the important questions of existence... something that might answer?
Dave Burns has asked.
Now he, and his friends, might not live long enough to understand the reply.
It's often said be careful what you wish for. It's a pity someone didn't remind him about this. You see Dave is angry, angry at himself, angry at his friends and angry at the universe. Why is he angry? He is angry because of one stupid mistake, a mistake he blames his friends for, his life is now in ruins. Once a promising medical student, he is now a down out drunk, barely managing to keep is job together, let alone his life. So when he takes part in a silly game, his life and the life of his friends is thrown into turmoil.
Clockwork Dolls, is the latest novella from Ginger Nuts favourite Willie Meikle, a novella, which despite the constraints of the novella format, manages to tell a strong and gripping tale of supernatural terror, that has some subtle nods to M.R. James. One of the things I love about Willie's writing is his ability to tell a enthralling and entertaining story, and Clockwork Dolls, achieves this with great gusto.
This is the sort of story that the BBC used to put out as a late night play when the nights were dark and cold. Full of strong and well written characters, an ever building sense of dread, topped off with a satisfying conclusion. This novella hits the mark perfectly. The emotional and personal journey that Dave goes through is handled with compassion and sensitivity, at the outset he really is an obnoxious boor, however by the end of the story you won't be able to help yourself from feeling sorry for him.
They say be careful what you wish for,, just make sure you wish for a copy of this book.