Walk Among Us
by Vivien Dean, contemporary (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-60504-185-8


One cold October evening, Calvin Schumacher comes back to his hometown in Illinois to attend his estranged father's funeral. When someone is shot dead during the event, Calvin ends up playing tonsil tennis with the gunman, an ex-priest named Matthew Soto. When the body of the fellow who was shot vanishes without a trace and Matthew begins talking about demons in this world, that is when Calvin realizes that there is more to the situation than meets the eye. Or is there?

Calvin embodies the worst trait of the Sensitive Gay Hero in gay romances - he is so self-absorbed that he can barely muster up any curiosity, much less horror, in this story even when someone is gunned down before his eyes. As long as a matter doesn't penetrate his "Me, me, me!" bubble, he doesn't give a hoot about the matter. He goes on considerably about how his life in the past sucked because he was gay and his father couldn't accept that, so I guess he now believes that the world revolves solely around his big gay ass.

As a result, Walk Among Us feels like an artsy French movie where people walk slowly, pose dramatically, have sex, and wallow in angst as if their world is covered in blue emo. The folks in this story don't seem like normal folks, they come off like pretentious symbols of... I don't know, the angst I am supposed to feel about this world or something.

Sigh.

Maybe I've moved way past my teenage angst years of self-absorption to appreciate this short story.

Rating: 52


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