“Bruno’s Last Supper” by Jeff Lindemann from Saints and Sinners 2013: New Fiction from the Festival (Bold Strokes Books).
Full disclosure: I have a story in this anthology.
I’ll admit that when I first read this I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. “Over the top” doesn’t even begin to describe it. But then I got to hear the author read a selection from it at the book launch party, and I was sold. Re-reading it, I could still clearly hear his voice, and it all fell into place. Reading his story in this year’s anthology, I was immediately enchanted. Yeah, sure, it’s over the top. It’s also funny as hell. They both are. They’re both pretty dark, too, the newer one more so.
I can’t even begin to describe the colorful nature of all the characters and places in this story. It would pale in comparison. You’ll simply have to read it. Let’s just say Bruno is a young man recently released from a “repartive therapy” institution run by a sadistic madman, as all such places are. He has returned to his mother’s house but it’s clear right away that the “treatments” he endured while away did nothing but piss him off. He immediately sets off to make his own way in the world…and drives to the bar that used to be his hangout—and he’s all of eighteen—where he meets and instantly connects with a guy named Nathaniel. From there the story goes into hyperdrive, with a traveling preacher, his blind daughter, and the life-sized wax sculpture of DaVinci’s The Last Supper they tote around in a Gulfstream trailer. No, really. Funny as hell. Check it out.