The Storyteller is an amazing short story available as a free read from Storm Moon Press. It is narrated by Oleg, a young man who has been banished to his family’s country estate because of his blindness. “Sightless, useless, an abomination,” he is tended to by Neiam who has been hired by Oleg’s father to take care of both the estate and his son. That’s the bare bones of the story that is remarkable in so many ways.
Using Oleg to narrate the story forces the reader to perceive life as he does. Oleg feels the sunlight on his naked body, he listens to the hitch in Neiam’s voice, and hears the shuffling of his caretaker’s feet that marks the path he is to follow. You learn only as much as Oleg does about the estate where they are living.
Neiam is not the typical caretaker/servant either. Neiam is Oleg’s lover and the storyteller in the title. As Neiam tells his stories, he forces Oleg to follow his voice and take steps through the house, helping Oleg gain independence and confidence. The story adds another layer with the dom/sub dynamic in their relationship. Neiam, the servant, is dominant while Oleg, son of royalty, is happily submissive. Their sexual relationship is sensual and oh so hot. The dominance and submission here is gentle and loving as Neiam steers Oleg towards self sufficiency.
There is no mention of time and place in the story. It could be Russia in the 1700s or a alternate universe. It really doesn’t matter as the focus is on Oleg and Neiam. Their day is interrupted by “Father” and serves to underscore Oleg’s relationship with his family.
At 3,600 words, this story is short and sweet. The Storyteller takes place on Valentine’s Day, a perfect time to read this wonderful story. It can be downloaded for free at Goodreads or the Storm Moon Press website.
Cover: This cover is perfection. Lush and romantic, it really suits the story.