The General & The Visitor by Richard Billing and Mark Brooks

The General and The Visitor are two compelling and thought-provoking short stories about life, decisions, and character. Both are quite well written, but at times I did think they could’ve done with a little bit more work to make them flow easier. They’re both short and do an excellent job of provoking the intense emotional reaction I tend to look for in short stories. Of these two stories, only The General is a fantasy story.

The General and The Visitor were written as a way to raise money for the Ranelagh House Care Home, a charity based in Liverpool, UK. All proceeds from the sales of these short stories (sold together) go to charity. You can learn more about their fundraising here

The General

The General, as the name suggests, follows a military leader as he is ordered to destroy a small section of land. Things don’t go quite as intended, and the general is left with some very tough decisions to make. I both liked and disliked how this one ended. The ending of this short story was very thought provoking, but I thought another line or two could have added some extra impact to the ending. Overall, it was very good and a nice, character focused short story.

The Visitor

The Visitor isn’t a fantasy story, and follows Mike, a visitor at his grandfather’s hospice care centre through his grandfather’s final day. Naturally this short story packs a bit of an emotional punch to the gut. It deals with grief and death, and is a really interesting short story.

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