A moving short story about twin brothers who attend a birthday that ends in tragedy.
Many people have focused on the relationship between the twins in their reviews but for me this story was more about childhood anxieties. As a child I was also afraid of the dark so Francis' terror was very real for me. I remember adults saying the same things to me and how little impact they made to my fears. I also remember taking a deep breath and doing what the adults wanted anyway, as Francis did.
Greene has captured the feeling of childhood fears with a realism that left my adult self a little more anxious than usual. His portrayal of Francis proves just how brave fearful kids are despite their fears, even in the face of death. This story plays out as these scenarios often play out in many a fearful child's imagination which makes the ending even more chilling.
Can be read free online here