“The Button Bin”
Nominated for the Nebula Award: Short Story
This…is a disturbing story. “The Button Bin” begins with the line “You know he’s the one who made your beloved niece disappear.” Told in second person perspective, the story is the confrontation with the man who did something to your niece. Mike Allen personalizes things. I don’t have a niece, but for as long as it took to read “The Button Bin”, I did. Something happened to her. This man knows.
“The Button Bin” starts with you and the man, moves over to you and Denise (the niece) to give background and backstory, and then flicks back and forth in time – confrontation and history. The horror and disturbing tone to the story presents ideas about what happened to Denise without ever stating what happened. And then the story turns once more and the horror of the situation becomes even more real and nasty.
There are supernatural elements to the story, but they are almost irrelevant. They are important to the conclusion, but not quite as important and the relationship between you, Denise, and Lenahan.
Things are not simple and not pretty in “The Button Bin”. They are dark and nasty, but Mike Allen has written a compelling story, one that is worth the time to read.
“The Button Bin” was originally published in Helix, but is now available to read at Transcriptase.