Reclamation Yard: by Paul Meloy

The boy Elliot sees monsters. They are not of his own imagining. Rather they are the creations of his father, escaped from a children's book he had published years before. Now Elliot's father has dementia and the monsters he imagined for his book visit Elliot like the visible symptoms of his father's declining mental state. They troll the countryside and invade Elliot's home. Eventually his father is institutionalised, but it makes little difference - the power of monsters is drawn from an imagination gone to the bad. But just as that imagination gives up monsters, so Elliot is able to recruit help from its pages, in the form of a girl and her hot-air balloon who rescues Elliot's father from the institution and returns him for a final confrontation - in the Reclamation Yard of the title, which is, beautifully, locked with a robot's heart.

There's not a great deal that I can add. A summary of Meloy's story is its best possible review, so striking is it in conception. For anyone who has had to deal at close quarters with dementia in a loved one, there is a great deal of consolation to be had here, right out of the marvellous.

You can read Reclamation Yard in Issue 40 of Black Static wherein it is stunningly illustrated by Ben Baldwin.

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