“The Drover’s Ghost” by Melanie Rees confused me. I had a hard time differentiating between the two protagonists, Stewie and Mutton; their voices sounded too much alike in my head. I didn’t feel drawn into the story or the setting. The story also seemed like it wandered a bit, much like the main characters in the story.
Everything in this story felt flat, from the characters to the world. Honestly, this story could have been better had Rees just sat with it a little more. Generally, I am intrigued by ghosts that haunt; however, the ghosts here seem overzealous to keep the peace. I wonder what would have happened if the ghosts had awareness. These ghosts that haunt only know bloodshed, and one seems attracted to Mutton.
The dream sequence in this story feels obviously like a surprise. One minute I’m reading about the ghosts that come because of bloodshed (even accidental bloodshed) and the next minute I’m in a sequence about Mutton’s past with a guy named Philip (we learn that Mutton’s real name is also Philip, only adding to my confusion).
Overall, this story was not one of Persistent Visions’ best and felt that they could have chosen another story.