Aaron W. Kemp’s anthology of novellas and short stories features a diverse collection of characters, each of whom experiences a moment in life that will ultimately mark and change them. Told in a simple, straightforward style, the stories achieve the layering and depth that speak of a writer who has taken the time to learn his craft.
While the characters are diverse, ranging from a doctor leaving his practice to a boy who experiences love and loss at a very young age, the protagonists – all male – share a desire for something more, a quest for truth, for a life fully lived.
In “Treasure of the Indios,” a betrayed husband ventures into the heart of Mexico in search of an ancient treasure but finds much more. He tells his guide Pablo that he is running from disappointment, infidelity and “things that just went wrong.” Pablo responds, “… it’s always best to run toward something, not away. When you run toward something, you can and must leave something behind and take what you want with you. … Take what makes you love yourself.”
“Grabbin’ Chickens” is a coming-of-age tale that begins with a boy learning from a legendary bootlegger to catch chickens and ends with a revelation that in less capable hands might have been predictable. It comes here as a satisfying surprise.
These five stories are engaging, enjoyable reads, the kind of stories that stay with a reader. There are a few typos – “heroine” for “heroin,” for example – and perhaps a few too many “tender kisses,” but these missteps are too minor to distract from the quality of the work. Someday Is Today & Other Stories will be a treat for any reader who enjoys a literary tale.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.