The short story “I Can See Right Through You” by Kelly Link has not only been nominated for the 2015 World Fantasy Award, it is also one of the stories in her collection Get in Trouble, which was published by Random House early this year. The collection was much heralded in the press, so I bought it and read four of the stories, including the nominee.
Will is an aging actor known for his leading role as a sexy vampire in a film made years earlier. When the story opens he is seeking out Meggie, a former lover and former co-star in their famous hit movie. Meggie is now the host of a ghost-hunting reality show. Will arrives at a supposedly haunted lake side where Meggie’s crew is shooting an episode and trying to find signs of a colony of nudists who disappeared in the 70s. Everyone is carrying on in the nude, believing that they haven’t been able to get any readings on the nudist ghosts because they are scared of showing themselves. Yeah, it’s a wonderfully absurd story set up.
Will knows he’s going to seed and even if he’s not really comfortable with the notion, he is full of self-depreciating humor. Meggie, who he can’t quite admit is the one and only love of his life, seems to have expected him to show up and treats him with the warm dismissal of an ex-lover, further adding to Will’s pathos. Meggie’s current boyfriend Ray (who looks like a younger Will), another medium who doesn’t like Will and a producer who has a crush on him all vie for the reader’s attention. This helps delay the ghostly surprise at the end, but it also dilutes the story’s tension. Continue reading