‘The Cruellne’ by James Clammer

This strange and lovely story came my way through Galley Beggars’ now sadly defunct Singles Club, which they set up on a subscription basis, bringing readers a new short story in e-book form every month. What a brilliant thing that was! In this story a boy named Samuel, whose father has perhaps died, narrates a journey which he takes to London on a hot summer’s day with his mother. She does not tell him precisely where they are going or why. When they get there and meet the mysterious cruellne, her conversation with it calms Samuel’s mother in some ineffable way. And Samuel himself finds he can now let go of something. If I had to chose just one story out of my twelve it would be this one, though its grip on me is, like the cruellne itself, inexplicable.

(Published by Galley Beggar Press, 2014 and available to buy here)