‘Denouement’ by Brian Wright

Albert’s father is a local Alaskan legend, but when his fishing boat sinks in a freak squall the whole town is devastated. At twenty-one, Albert is left stranded in his role as caretaker for both his family’s vast estate and for his ailing mother, whom the tragedy has left a shattered parody of her formerly glorious self. But Albert has problems of his own. A loner, flailing fiction writer, abuser of marijuana, and self-loathing peeping tom, Albert struggles to navigate the rocky shoals of his new life. The whole town wonders when he’ll show the famous talents of the father he never related to. But when Albert discovers long-forgotten journals of his war-hero grandfather, he hopes he’s found his salvation: telling his grandfather’s story. This story, however, lacks an appropriate ending. Further thwarting Albert’s path are his vices, his self-doubt, his newfound lust for a risqué “seasonal” tourist, and his gold-digging aunt, who turns up just as several suitors begin to court his family’s fortune. Can Albert find the perfect denouement for his grandfather’s tale? And is its completion enough to backfill the voids in his own?

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