Arsenal Pulp Press
October 10th, 2017
Civil War has divided America, and outdoors isn’t always safe after groups of religious extremists carried out dirty bomb attacks all over the US and Canada. Father Ernst was a leader in the movement, and shortly after the attacks he moved much of his Family into an underground bunker to keep them out of the world. Since communications stopped a few years ago, he doesn’t know much about the more recent war that erupted after his acts of terrorism. He doesn’t really care.
Locked in their bunker for seven years, their little cult has progressed along much like any other–Father Ernst has been systematically eliminating virile males and marrying any women as they come of age–even if it means incest. Paul was long ago chosen to be the group’s Provider–a person who goes outside the bunker to bring back whatever plants and wild game he can find–and he figures Ernst was hoping he’d not come back one day. He knows it’s past time to get his sister Ruth and his love Rebekah away from the bunker, he just needs to make sure it’s safe outside.
Rebekah is dying inside. She can’t take much more of the confinement and malnourishment, and one way or another, she’s getting out.
Ruth sees the gaunt faces of the children, and knows they’re not going to last much longer underground. Her impending womanhood also looms large, as she knows the minute she starts bleeding Father Ernst will want to make her his seventh wife.
Tarry This Night is devastatingly frighting and sad, and tells a tale with a similar message as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s a gut punch of a book, and scarily relevant.