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Rough Music by Simon Kurt Unsworth

Rough music: (- n) a loud cacophony created with tin pans, drums, etc,; the cacophonous ringing of bells, hooting, blowing bull’s horns, the banging of frying pans, saucepans, kettles, or other kitchen or barn implements with the intention of creating long-lasting embarrassment.

Sometimes, the sounds we hear in the dark have resonances that we cannot foresee…

This story has a wonderfully simple premise. A man, called Cornish, is woken every night by a noise that only he can hear. Over a series of successive nights, the noise gets louder and louder and when he discovers the source he is forced to confront the truth behind the lies in his life.

I liked the sense of ambiguity and uncertainty that flows through the narrative of this story. Is Cornish merely projecting his internal turmoil, are all the events he witnesses occurring just in his head or is something more sinister going on? As the plot unfolds the reader is given the opportunity to interpret the events that occur and draw their own conclusions from Cornish’s reactions. I read Rough Music a couple of times over the course of a few days and each time there were small elements of the story that jumped out of the text and caught my attention.

One of my favourite things about each new Spectral Press chapbook is that I get exposed to authors whose work I haven’t necessarily had the opportunity to experience before. Simon Kurt Unsworth has crafted an engrossing tale that can’t help but promote a certain amount of introspection. It’s always a pleasure to discover short fiction that manages to be insightful as well as entertaining. Rough Music is an eclectic mix of genres – one part dark fantasy and one part psychological horror.

Now for some bad news. Rough Music is already sold out. Spectral Press only produces a limited number of chapbooks and they are all spoken for, they are incredibly popular and rightly so. The good news? To ensure that you don’t find yourself missing out on future editions you can subscribe to Spectral’s publications via their website.

Rough Music

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