Audiobook - Twin Points

Twin Points

Susan Omand listens to a dark, tense supernatural tale...

Read By
Michael Fenton Stevens
Written By
Neil Gardner
Music By
Purple Planet
Original Idea
Tanja Glittenberg

Twin Points is a short story by Neil Gardner and is a departure in style from the contemplative science fiction of his that I have listened to and reviewed for /Garbage-File before.

A man is returning home from work and is somehow forced to walk down a dingy alleyway, lit only by flickering pools of light from the street lamps above. In the distance he can see twin points of light shining. As he steps into the first pool of light he is subject to the most intense pain. He staggers forward and the pain subsides as he leaves the light. As his journey down the alley progresses, the horrific pain and graphic torture increase as he staggers from lamp to lamp, only subsiding as he reaches the darkness between. What is causing this pain, this anguish? Hallucination? Psychological trauma? Alien abduction? And why? What has he done to deserve this?

All questions are answered at the end of the story, and the ending is the reason I listened to this twice before writing the review, because it totally changed how I felt about the man.

The first time I listened to it, I picked up on and empathised with the man's confusion and terror of the unknown, as I followed with him step by step he makes his way along the alley. The suffering and anguish are graphic, but not over-described, leaving a lot to the imagination making it even more shocking. The smooth voice and matter-of-fact attitude in the voice of the perpetrator of this torture, along with the breaks in the darkness between the lighted hells, help to throw the contrast between the two into sharp relief.

With the second listen through, knowing the ending, my empathy for the man changed completely - knowing what was happening to him and why, I felt he needed to feel the pain, the confusion, the terror - that it was justified. I will not give any more away, because you need to listen to this story and experience this shift for yourselves.

Production-wise, the choice of actor Michael Fenton Stevens to read it gives the narration just the right level of gravitas and the music adds a lot to the edginess and general feeling of discomfort and disturbance that the story conveys.

Although short at only eleven minutes, this is not an "easy" listen. It demands your full concentration and, as a story, it will stay with me for a long time. I cannot fault it.

Image - Spokenworld Audio.

"Twin Points" is available free from Spokenworld Audio.