Trading with Death – Short Story Review

Title: Trading with Death | Author: Ann Girdharry | Pub. Date: 07/22/2015 | Genre: Dark Fantasy | Language: English | Triggers: Child death | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Self purchased


Trading with Death

What terrible sacrifices might we make for those we love?
Will we be selfless or selfish?

Taka is tortured by her younger sister’s terminal illness. Then one dark day, in the middle of the forest, she is faced with an opportunity to change fate. As the two sisters grapple with the approach of Death, one of them will attempt to bargain for a life. What final choices will be made?

  Trading with Death Review

Trading with Death is a short story I picked up randomly from browsing Kindle Nation Daily. I have to admit that the cover didn’t impress me much at first. The cover photo is very pretty but the title and subtitle in red and yellow makes it look a bit unprofessional. I liked the synopsis, so I thought I would give Trading with Death a try anyway. Don’t let the cover fool you. The writing was very good. The author really knows how to describe a setting and emotions well. The sister’s voices are very distinct from each other.

While this kind of story has been done before the author gives it a slightly different spin in exactly how it happens in Trading with Death. There are also no ‘deals with the devil’, just a wish fulfilled. I also liked that the older sister’s wish didn’t come from a negative place (such as “I hate my life so I’d rather die than my sister”) but from love.

I’m not usually one to tear up at stories but this one got to me a bit. Because, honestly, who hasn’t thought or wished they could do the same? To trade places with someone, or even to just take their pain as your own to lessen theirs. I know I have and still do. Which probably explains why this type of tale is so timeless and enduring. The only thing that really differs in each telling is the author’s handling of the subject and Ann Girdharry handles it well.

I really wouldn’t place Trading with Death in the ‘Horror’ category and I have the feeling it only ended up there because there’s a supernatural element to it. It has more of a fantasy element to it than outright ‘horror’.