Saturday, 27 April 2013

Fugue, Rick R. Reed


Another Rick R. Reed story that will leave you thinking long after you've gotten to the end.

- Review by Cindi

Two men meet on the el late one night.  One is dressed in leather chaps, a leather cap, engineer boots and a tight white tee.  He's older with black curly hair with a bit of gray.  He's a big man with a hardened, muscular body that has obviously been made that way by hard work.  Fugue is tattoo'd on one of his biceps.The other man is at the oldest eighteen or nineteen with sandy blonde hair and pale blue eyes.  His body is lean and he is dressed in jeans,  a faded green tee and clean Reeboks.  Their eyes meet when they are left alone on the train and there is no doubt of what the other wants.  This begins the game of master versus sub.  Only who will be the master?  The big burly man or the innocent looking young boy?

Then the reader is taken into a basement where one of the men is tied up waiting on his master. It's the kind of damp and filthy basement you read about in novels written by the Marquis de Sade or authors who sign their books with only the initial "O."  It's the type of cellar you'd discover in a true crime book by Ann Rule or Greg Olsen, a shocking chiller about twisted men who keep their victims shackled, naked, and desperate for long periods of time.  Men who enjoy seeing their victims suffer, who enjoy playing long, drawn-out, and elaborate versions of cat and mouse.

The reader is taken back and forth from the train to the damp basement with each setting being the complete opposite of the other in regards to the actions of the players involved.  In the train, the young man is the master and the large, older man submits eagerly and willingly.  In the basement the opposite is true.  Each setting is very sexual and it shows submission at its highest level.  But the reader is left wondering.... which is a dream and which is true?  The blurb states that one part is a dream and it gives you an idea of whose dream but the reader is still left thinking perhaps the other could be true.   Once again Rick R. Reed has written a tale that leaves the reader guessing and wondering long after the end.  The story is short, roughly 40-something pages, but a lot is said in those few pages.  You are left guessing... is the rough older man the master?  Or is the young, innocent looking one?   Another player is brought into one of the scenes but he leaves almost as quickly as he appears though not before getting in on the action as well.

I am aware that this is one of Mr. Reed's older stories.  I am slowly making my way through his work so in the upcoming weeks there are apt to be many more reviews of his books and short stories on this blog.  My apologies in advance if in the near future there are several reviews of his work posted back-to-back.  And my thanks to my blog partner for allowing me to feed my obsession. :)

My rating:  4 out of 5 stars


  1. I think the book is well named. Interesting :)

    1. It IS very well named. I wonder how many people had to Google it. :) It's a really good short.