...lovely and horrifying...
– Jeremy Robert Johnson
Author of Entropy in Bloom and The Loop
– Vivian Hernandez
Honorable Mention - Writer's Digest
“The Fort” was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest 89th Annual Writing Competition.
Official Selection - Screamwriting Festival
“The Fort” short film screenplay adaptation was an Official Selection at the 2021 Screamwriting Festival.
“The Fort” Audiovisual Book
Watch, Read, and Listen to the Unabridged Audiovisual Book
Directed by Alan Lastufka. Read by Nicholas Jenkins.
THE FORT is a poignant portrayal of friends at a crossroads and the desires that divide them when they discover something strange in the woods. By turns lovely and horrifying, this marks an excellent debut from Alan Lastufka.
Lastufka’s story was a big hit for me. I couldn’t tell where it was going until I was already there… and once there I was pleasantly surprised to find the premise very unique. It’s hard to do “new” horror, and I’m impressed. I also thought the writing was excellent and the dialogue meaningful and believable.
If I had to give a down side, I’d say that the ending wasn’t also a surprise. It was more of a shock and I tend to prefer subtlety.
I’ll definitely be reading more of his writing.
In the spirit of Stephen King, THE FORT shines as a gem of a story. It drew me in immediately and kept me engaged and wanting more.
THE FORT is a fascinating exploration of where horror meets magical realism. The dialogue makes this an easy read, while still capturing the innocence and wonder of youth. The characters and setting are both well established immediately, making this an easy and immersive story to get into.
The only problem with this fast-paced story is exactly that – its pacing. A slower build would have created a more unsettling tension making the ending feel more earned.
That being said, the shocking final image is exactly what I want out of a story like this, and I would absolutely love to read more.
This is a haunting story that deals with social class, friendship, and greed. It cuts in all the best ways. In this short story, the characters live vibrantly through their struggles and develop in a mere 13 pages.
The writing is very reminiscent of works by Shirley Jackson and Ray Bradbury. It left a stirring in the back of my head that followed me to bed. This story will sink into you and leave you wanting more.
I love a good spec fic thriller and this short story of two boys re-discovering a childhood fort hooked me immediately. It has a lean and pointed narrative that felt appropriately visceral to match the story’s undertones. The dynamic between the main characters felt real and layered and left me wanting more.
The ending was the only place where I felt a minor disconnection to the story. Without spoilers, there was a good amount of trepidation and that prickly awareness of foreboding that I love, but I wanted something else from it. Either way, it was still a satisfying ending well worth the quick read.
THE FORT is a fun read that keeps you locked in. If you enjoy horror, thrillers, and suspense, then you’ll definitely enjoy this short story.
Even though we only have 19 pages with them, Lastufka’s characters and relationships are well fleshed out which allows you to sink into the story from early on.
If you enjoy the work of Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Clive Barker, and Joe Hill, Lastufka’s THE FORT is right up your alley.
GENRE Horror, Magical Realism
PUBLISHER Shortwave Media
ISBN 978-1-7336919-0-1 (eBook)