Though I’m strangely called “Michael,” Lois Tilton has good things to say about my story, “The Girl in the Basement,” at the IROSF.
“Child abuse. In a post-apocalyptic world, a girl is kept imprisoned in a basement room by parents who tell her she is allergic to sunlight. The parents prostitute her as a way of feeding themselves, while pretending their actions are all for her own good.
“I’m sorry,” Mother said later, stroking the girl’s hair as the girl lay in bed moaning. “But I’m the one who brought you into this world. I’m the one who gave you life, who keeps you alive.” She kicked the basement floor with her sandal. “Without me, you’re dust.”
While the cruelty in this one has a highly authentic touch, the SFnal element is minimal. It would be easy to imagine finding this story in the news reports today, minus the state of the world outside the basement.”