Monday, June 9, 2014

Deep Like The River, by Tim Waggoner


Following the tragic death of her infant daughter and the subsequent collapse of her marriage, Allie is taken on a canoeing day-trip by her sister Carin, with bonding and emotional healing being the order of the day. The pair are soon distracted by what appears to be an abandoned infant on the bank of the river.

 The sisters row over to the baby girl, who is clad in a onesie that reads "Here comes trouble!", and perform a brief search for anyone who might have misplaced her, but find no one. They take the baby with them in the canoe, and set off downriver to find help. Allie, however, keeps seeing a large, strange shape following them behind the treeline, and then there's the huge vulture that keeps circling overhead, and the massive snake that keeps attacking the canoe....

 The core of Deep Like The River held a lot of promise, but Waggoner begins to lose ground when he delves into the backstory of Allie and Carin, and the death of Allie's little girl, which is where the story becomes totally transparent and predictible. There were a lot of interesting things that could have been done with this premise, but Waggoner goes exactly where you expect him to, and the story, while not bad, certainly does not go anywhere especially interesting or unexpected. The novella is mercifully brief at 76 pages, but it still felt like it could have been told just as well in half the pages.