Title: Playing Possum
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #12.6
In: An Apple for the Creature (Charlaine Harris & Toni L. P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 10th April 2019
Format: Short story
Publisher: Ace Books
5th sentence, 74th page: “Oh,” she said, looking appropriately sober.
Sookie Stackhouse brings enough birthday cupcakes for her nephew’s entire class but finds she’s one short when the angry ex-boyfriend of the school secretary shows up.
I both thoroughly enjoyed this story and felt kind of concerned by it. This is the first short story in a collection of short stories based on our experiences in school. And it has a shooter entering the school grounds. Granted, this was written and published quite a few years ago and may not have been such a hot issue… but considering the constant gunning down of children happening in America at the moment… it was more than a little concerning that the story starts with a tale about a gunman.
I’ve only briefly dabbled into the world of Sookie Stackhouse, but every time I read one of the short stories based in this world, I really want to pick up another one. It’s not great for my self-control when I have two unread Sookie Stackhouse books sitting on my bookshelf just waiting to go… especially since I’ve been told again and again that the stories get better as they unfold, and short stories like Playing Possum really support this idea.
Although this was a tale that I thoroughly enjoyed in the moment, I still find it incredibly problematic. A crazy man taking a gun into a kindergarten in revenge of a woman… it’s a strong comment on our society today that that is so normalised that a short story can be written about it. After all, if this was far fetched, it wouldn’t work in this series…