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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Last Shot: A Short Tale of the Absurdity of Life and Death is a contemporary fiction short story written by Justine Avery. Bernard was a precise and orderly man who was sick and tired of the world. He felt unappreciated and scorned by people who were not fit to be considered his peers. He finally came to the conclusion that the solution would be a precise and orderly suicide. It would be a simple thing to accomplish once he had researched his method and quantified the ingredients that would go into the alcohol and drug cocktail that would usher him into his long-deserved peace. He measured out his beloved vodka, organized the capsules, caplets and tablets into an aesthetically pleasing design, and set out to engineer his death. After consuming the alcohol and pills, he left his kitchen for the last time and, entering the bedroom, lay down upon his bed which had been made with military precision. This was the way he would go out of this existence, with precision and deliberation.
Justine Avery’s darkly comedic short story, Last Shot: A Short Tale of the Absurdity of Life and Death, grabs the reader’s attention with the first lines as Bernard revels in his grotesque enjoyment of his premeditated demise. This is a taut and well-written story that transports you into the mind of this bitter and disillusioned man, and you can’t help but chuckle at the ineptness of Bernard’s efforts to be the master of his fate. But, as you suppress that uncharitable snicker, there’s a deeply uncomfortable feeling that remains; a sense that something’s seriously wrong in this world Bernard inhabits that he should have gotten so deeply led astray, and it makes you pause and think. And that’s the hallmark of a powerful and compelling short story. Last Shot is highly recommended.