Mahape a ale Wala'au
by Paul G Bens, contemporary (2008)
Torquere Books, $2.49, ISBN 978-60370-279-9


Don't worry, Mahape a ale Wala'au is in English. You can probably guess that the story takes place in Waikïkï though. Our hero, Toshi, leaves Tokyo for some Christmas R&R only to find himself so enamored with the local hunk Kristopher. The affair touches him in so many ways that he has to write down on paper this story for me to read. Hey, don't laugh. Vacation sex can be serious business sometimes, you know.

On a serious note, oh my, I have this feeling that Paul G Bens can write a book about paint drying on a wall and I will still hang on to every word because the prose is lush, like a delicious and intoxicating drink that I can easily get drunk on. This story is an account of a vacation fling that affects Toshi profoundly, but the prose turns what could have been a simple story into some kind of poetry in motion. Mr Bens writes evocatively without going over the top. As a result, Toshi's sexual experience is erotic yet tasteful even as there are moments when I feel that I am given a glimpse right into the whimsical and lovelorn soul of that poor fellow. Even the description of Hawaii is fantastic. That is the beauty of this story. The author places me right there in his story, right into the shoes of his protagonist.

You may say that $2.49 is too expensive for a short story and I actually have a hard time disagreeing with you since my PDF file of this story comes up to only 24 pages (counting the cover page). Mahape a ale Wala'au however is so much pleasure to read that... I don't know, it's like an arthouse French movie that doesn't suck and heaven knows, there are so few of those out there. I'd say, yeah, $2.49 is a high price for such a short story, but what the heck, this is one $2.49 that will be well spent, in my opinion.

Rating: 88


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