Help Me Make It Through the Night is a short story by Kathy Golden. In these pages, we're introduced to a pair. They both spend several nights in a bar. During this time, the female takes notice of the man's behaviour and feels like she ought to discuss it with him. She goes over to his table and an interesting conversation takes place.
Both main characters, Mistique/ April and Bailey are both reasonably interesting. However, I feel that irrelevant aspects are discussed, considering the short nature of the story. For example, I don't feel like Mistique/ April's fashion sense was completely relevant and it kind of detracted from the atmosphere, especially when she pulled her bra out her shirt and whacked it on the table. I can sort of see what the author was aiming for in those portions, and the intended humour with the bra removal, but I just didn't think it was necessary. The same can sort of be said for the character Bailey; we're introduced to a character that’s on the mysterious side. But, after we get to find out his hidden side, the reveal just doesn't seem to fully convey the secrecy that's intended. It essentially all boils down to the fact that he goes home with a different person each night because he can't get over another.
It's a good story and the author uses their words well, but obviously there are a few aspects that make the story less special. For example, the loss of a former partner is a fairly common reason people use for why their characters sleep around. I also feel like the author is trying too hard to make Mistique/ April an original character; the unusual appearance (violet contacts and black / blonde wig) and the "Mistique" name... Those things aren't necessary. The author character could still use a relatively normal appearance with a normal name and it would seem more natural. I feel like a story of any kind out to be more than just what a character looks like. At the end of the day, who cares if you can point them out in the crowd? The conversation is the real focal point in the book and it really feels like it's not when we have our main female character whipping out her bra and smacking it down on a table. Maybe other people enjoyed that bit, I don't know... I just didn't find it as funny as I think it was meant to be.
The things I do like about the story are that the conversation is interesting and the way the author expresses the scenes. There's a lot of emphasis on the bar they're in and we get some great introductions to the type of people in those bars. It's interesting to read more into each scene and I kind of wish we'd gotten more of it.
Overall, I liked it, but it needs a few improvements here and there. Like many other short stories, I think it definitely would have benefited from a lot more content and a lengthier word count. However, forgiving the problems I've mentioned- which are just my opinion, I think the author has potential and there is promise in their writing. I'll definitely read more of their work if I get the chance.
I got a free copy of this book from Smashwords.