The unnamed narrator tells the reader she doesn’t need her “policewoman training” to see what would soon cause the footage to cut out. She notices a woman, dressed for fall when everyone is dressed for the heat of summer. Not only are her clothes out of season, but they’re also out of date. She looks as if she “waited for a man on horseback.”
Her body is found with others after she’s detonated some sort of bomb.
Some months afterward, the narrator notices the same woman—no, a woman looks like her, a twin maybe—holding flowers at a ski resort. Her body is also recovered with others there.
After a third gruesome incident, the narrator traces the women back to their source.
The author gives the reader some striking and memorable pictures. He shows us not a nursing home, but a “labyrinth of wheelchairs and senescence.” Nevertheless, a couple of things didn’t ring true. For example, how did the narrator find where the women were coming from? No logical connection is given to her finding her way there. Nor is there any connection made between her search and her finding the person who might tell her something. When she asks that person a question, the person seems to offer a non-sequitur response, but it is, in fact, the answer to the mystery.
There are space restraints on these stories, but there should also be logical progressions. Had there been, this would have a great little tale. As it is, this is only fair. It asks the reader to check the brain and rely on the emotions.
While I don’t wish to belabor the point, the first line speaks of “policewoman training.” Is this different from police training in any substantial way?
As to most important criteria of all: was the story a good read? I would have to say it had its moments. Fair to partly.
According to his goodreads profile, author Michael Goodhut has a day job as a game developer. He has stories published in anthologies such as Surviving the Collapse and in periodicals such as Fantasy Magazine.
Title: “Autumn Woman”
Author: Michael Greenhut
First published: Daily Science Fiction, November 12, 2018