This short story is one of several centred around the weird and wonderful town of Dóchas, a small fictional town near the city of Edinburgh. In quick order the author does a great job introducing us to the peculiarities of this little town, whilst also setting up the two principal characters: fresh faced and overly enthusiastic police recruit, constable Lawson, and our antagonist, Jimmy Midge.
Jimmy Midge is a confused individual who, by misfortune, has become a genetic hybrid between man and midge (think mini mosquito, pronounced ‘mid-gy’, and yes they are real). His transformation has left him empathetic to his fellow midges and his social conscience demands equal rights for his miniscule brethren, his fight for which results in an unfortunate run in with the police.
“We huv every right tae swarm and feast oan man and beast”
“When you’re all about two millimetres long, of course you can,” Pontius said. “Not when you’re about six feet tall and you’re swinging a cricket-bat embedded with nails.”
The author has a distinct humour that shines resplendently throughout and makes for an enjoyable read. However, the story itself is overly simplified and I would love to see some further development to round it out. For instance the dialogue is a little inconsistent with Jimmy Midge swinging in and out of a heavy colloquial accent seemingly at random.
I look forward to seeing where the next story in the Hope Town series will venture.