The Truth of the Unknown Interpreter
by Paul Aramouni
Author Reputation Press

"Sunny and Mr. Shannon would be left to watch over Henry and try to get more information from him without killing him."

Henry Velovsky experiences hearing difficulties. Therefore, he requires the assistance of a sign language interpreter in his high school classes. There's also a spoken-language barrier because what words Henry can hear are said in American English rather than his native Russian. The plucky freshman moved to America partly to attend school with hearing students and partly to escape the ongoing cruelty he suffered from Sunny Verruckt, his interpreter. Initially, Henry's prospects for his high school career are bright, as he enjoys the kind professionalism of interpreter Becky Malone. But then Becky is murdered and replaced by the obviously disturbed Jenese Motaire. Unease turns to terror when Henry learns Jenese belongs to a bloodthirsty cult that kidnaps him, wanting him to share Becky's fate. And when a familiar nemesis looms large among the cult members, Henry realizes that, despite all his efforts, escape from evil interpreters might be impossible after all.

Although significantly fictionalized, this story is based on the author's experiences, who identifies as hard of hearing. His relatively recent graduation from high school ensures that his recollections of two interpreters' respective good and evil natures remain vivid, allowing him to create a harrowing tale in which pervasive darkness threatens to overwhelm fragile light. Aramouni chillingly reimagines two unpleasant interpreters as slovenly villains with a vampiric craving for animal blood. Tellingly, Sunny's last name, "Verruckt," is German for "crazy." Middle-aged Jenese also displays a pedophilic interest in the adolescent Henry. She is also not above attempting to burn her own daughter to death. Horror fans with a taste for unconventional storylines might find this tale to be just what they are looking for.

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