Monday, March 12, 2012

IRL Week: Harm Reduction by Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane

Harm Reduction by Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane
Storm Moon Press
Short Story: 17pages
Rating: 4 out of 5

It's 1992 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and Magic Johnson has just gone public about being HIV+. Out of the news but right at the frontlines, Julio Torres works the streets and the parks, doing everything he can to keep more people from dying. He meets a young hustler named Linley who doesn't stand a chance. But no matter how hopeless, Julio never gives up trying to do the right thing.

It's 2012 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and there's a Whole Foods around the corner selling organic flowers for Valentine's Day. The city has changed, and so has the world, but Julio is still holding on to his past. He's moved on with his life, taken up new causes, but he just can't let Linley's memory go.

Sometimes you read something great, only to realize its only 17 fecking pages. It seems it always the shorter stories that leave a big impact and Harm Reduction was one of them. It gives you realism in those seventeen pages, because somewhere in the world, someone could be living and feeling exactly what is in this story.

We meet Julio, who’s playing ball with his foster son in a park. Its cold out, and his son is wondering why they keep coming back to the same whole park to play, when they could play a game indoors. The story is told through the past and present, when Julio worked as Outreach worker in the early nineties, and where he meets a young prostitute Linley who affected him like no other.

As an Outreach worker Julio is there giving out clean needles and trying to help those who are willing to take it. He isn’t the bossy kind, stuffing ‘the world will be a better place if you come with me’, he’s giving them an option to get better but the work will come from them. Linley has him affected, wanting to do the unthinkable, maybe bring him home and bed him. Julio knows though, that sometimes the thing you want the most is the very thing you need to do an Olympic sprint from.

I expect great things from Heidi and Violetta; these two know how to throw down. I really liked Julio, he does something that saves lives, and he’s seen what life on the streets can do to someone yet he isn’t jaded. He makes me wanna smile and believe. I wanted him to get his happy romance loving, and because this was released for Valentines Day, you get your candy-coated hearts (but with a side of keeping it real, ya heard).

I really enjoyed this one, a small story worthy of novel praises.

4 Pants Off
*This is a free short, available on the Storm Moon Press website, Smashwords and ARe. Keeping with theme week, its also an interracial love thang*

No comments:

Post a Comment

Go ahead and talk to me!