Saturday, July 15, 2017

DMI2017, Week 27: "Moonface" by Andrew Paul


For this week's short story, the Six of Clubs served up a mildly disturbing story by Andrew Paul, from the collection Mississippi Noir. Seems as if I'm having something of a run on stories from this collection, as often happens with Deal Me In, but I certainly don't mind because most of the stories in this collection are quite good.

The story's action centers on a man nicknamed "Moonface" by the kids at the school where he works on the cafeteria serving line. His real name is Yitzhak Cohen, and he's a Holocaust survivor. They call him "Moonface" because of the ugly circular scars visible all over his body. The unnamed narrator of the story, a high school kid, has multiple run-ins with Moonface, because as it turns out they both have their eyes on Nicole, a senior cheerleader.

After one too many humiliations at the hands of both Moonface and Nicole, the narrator decides that Moonface needs to go. He makes his way to Moonface's trailer on the edge of town, with no real plan in mind, and finds out that he has already lost Nicole -- Moonface and Nicole are clearly in an intimate relationship, one which her father then finds out about. So now there's ANOTHER person who has it in for Moonface, and the story spirals downward from there. As it turns out, the narrator does indeed play a pivotal role in getting rid of Moonface, but not at all in the way that he might have envisioned.

Rating: 5 stars; this is one of those stories that gradually sucks you in and begins raising the suspense as you watch the characters make one bad decision after another. An excellent read!

Deal Me In 2017 is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.


  1. Also the title of short story by Jack London, though he hyphenates "Moon-face."

    Sounds like an interesting - if indeed disturbing - story.

    1. I haven't read any Jack London in years and years. I looked up the story you mentioned and it sounds noir-ish as well. I'll have to dig it out and read it soon.