Friday, October 26, 2007

Longtime Gone, by Kurt Dinan

Longtime Gone” by Kurt Dinan is a painful, painful story of a father’s grief over his daughter’s abduction. It is framed with quotes from Juliet Larson’s A Survival Guide for Parents of Missing Children. Quote by quote the father’s grief grows as he tries to do things that he is supposed to do, but he knows the statistics and when everything is the absence of his daughter.
Their days and nights have no unanswered questions hammering at them as they try to work, as they try to shower, or as they try to sleep—Do the stars look different where Molly is? Or do her lifeless eyes stare at nothing but dirt and decomposing leaves? Is she nearby—less than one mile from this house—or cities, states, or even oceans away? Or is my nine-year-old angel, the child who at six said she wanted to marry me when she grew up, scattered over twenty miles of dark highway?

There are no answers in the silence except for this truth—the day Molly went missing the entire planet became a potential graveyard.
The ending is teased, in a sense, a couple of pages prior, but through it all the ending makes sense through the illogic of it. Dinan’s suggestion that this could be real, that this could be a response feels right at the same time that it feels wrong. If just for a moment, the reader is able to feel a fraction of what a father must feel in such a situation and even that fraction hurts.

-I can't find that Juliet Larson book anywhere online, so I don't know if it is a fictional device from Kurt Dinan or what the story is with that.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review of my story. It's nice to know these things get read when I write them. It's also nice to know you found the story "painful". That was its intent.

And to answer your query (of sorts), the Juliet Larson book and quotes are all fiction as well.

Thanks for the read and mention,
Kurt Dinan

Joe said...

Aha! Well that makes perfect sense then.

I spent a bit too much time googling the fictional book, then.