A trip to the traveling carnival with two toddlers and a mobility-challenged parent isn’t most people’s definition of fun, but it’s closer than Valerie Wade usually gets. A few hours kicking sawdust and revisiting favorite childhood memories, that’s all she asks.

It’s her annual treat, a visit back in time to the carefree years before she learned that her blood carries a potential death sentence, before life beat her down and broke her spirit. It’s the one place where she can forget about secrets, debts and obligations for a few hours and remember what hope feels like.

Everything changes that night, under the bright lights and the striped awnings. The monsters and freaks aren’t in the sideshow tents. They’re walking the aisles, and before the carnival is done, Valerie will be taking her place among them.

K.M. Herkes impresses me more with each new release. This is the third Rough Passages story I have read thus far, and they just keep getting better. With each short story, I get a greater understanding of the world the author has created. Extraordinary has a different feel to it than its predecessors (Powerhouse and Nightmares). The main character in Extraordinary, Valerie, is dealing with multiple obstacles in life and is handed another that is truly life-changing. The way she deals with it shows a human, lighter side that simply adds another layer to the whole story being told. I look forward to other stories within the Rough Passages world and still hope for a full-length story from the author. Good work; highly recommended.
4 of 5 Stars