The Last Word by Mark Illis

The Last Word

Mark Illis

What this short story lacks in plot it makes up for with great characterisation. Wonderfully conveys the awkwardness of two misfits thrown together by circumstance.


Extract

'I want to uncover some facts.' He spoke quickly, angrily, as if it was something he'd explained several times before. 'I want to investigate them, and then point a finger and say: You're behind this. I want to be able to say: This is why what happened, happened. Instead it turns out I didn't even know him, didn't even know my best friend.'
'He made himself difficult to know. That's why we're doing this, isn't it? We're trying to know Max.'
They drove on, and now Max was a presence in the seat behind them; intractable and silent.

Parallels
  • The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings