REVIEW: “The Patron” by Derrick Boden

Review of Derrick Boden, “The Patron”, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issue 312 (September 10, 2020). Read online. Reviewed by Richard Lohmeyer.

 In this excellent story on the origins of compassion and empathy, The Patron is a woman who cares more deeply than she realizes about the people who come to her seeking vengeance on others. She has spent seven years as a prisoner negotiating, day after day, the terms for such retribution. But the chain that binds her ankle to her chair—as well as to the need to negotiate these vengeful transactions—is largely symbolic. The Patron believes she is imprisoned and controlled by daemons who thrive on physical and psychic pain and who perform the vengeful acts. She’s wrong, though, and her eventual recognition of the genuine nature of her imprisonment gives rise to a selfless act that ultimately frees her (in a sense). In turn, hope is born, where previously there had been only darkness and despair.  

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Richard Lohmeyer

Richard Lohmeyer has been a technical/marketing writer for longer than he cares to admit to. He hopes to someday publish short fiction, as well. His favorite SF/F magazines include Asimov's, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clarkesworld, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and Tor. You can find him on Twitter @rkloh.

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