Did you ever hear the one about the man with a string of bad luck? The worst is still to come in a chilling short story of an insatiable friendship by the New York Times bestselling author of Hell of a Book.
For best friends with vastly different fortunes, what’s left to hash out other than a forced confession at gunpoint? All that the destitute, sickly, and grieving Will demands is that monstrously successful Barry admit to draining all the luck right out of him. Like blood. As the standoff escalates, the truth is not the only thing ready to come out.
Jason Mott’s Best of Luck is part of Creature Feature, a collection of devilishly creepy stories that tingle the spine and twist the mind. They can be read or listened to in one petrifying sitting.
You know how that old story goes, right? The guy with the worst luck ever? No? Well, Jason Mott will gladly tell you. And then give you another story with an arguably more horrific outcome. “Best of Luck” starts out with an air of confusion; one man, Will, is holding his best friend, Barry, at gunpoint demanding the truth. While this is wildly uncharacteristic of Will, his unhinged behavior is mirrored by his rapidly declining health right before Barry’s eyes. Now why would Will want to kill his best friend? According to him, Barry stole all of his luck.
This is my introduction to Jason Mott, and I may be adding another one of his books to my never-ending TBR. Mott creates an incredibly tense atmosphere within the confines of a short story; the suspense is palpable as we try to find logic and reason in Will’s words. The desperation exhibited by both characters felt incredibly fraught with both Will and Barry believing their actions would lead to their survival. Just when you think you’ve got the story figured out, there’s a sharp turn with a creative and ghastly conclusion.
I was incredibly impressed by the implementation of the story of the man with bad luck. We’re told this parable right at the beginning of things, suggesting the idea this is a casual conversation between friends. The jarring realization of the heightened stakes births the beginning of the fraught, suspenseful arrangement between Will and Barry. This was a remarkably clever choice in formatting and pacing that really took this story to the next level. Beyond that, the ending is just the icing on the cake.
More than just a wildly creative, haunting story, “Best of Luck” comments on the deeper issue of greed. Just how far would you go to come out on top? To bring your own self some “good luck?” Now more than ever with the state of our country’s economic and political landscape, this tale reflects the themes of greed, power, and the overall parasitical nature of society. Jason Mott really delivers in this component of the Creature Feature Collection, and may I say again, this collection is just so much fun.