rating 4.5Originally posted at http://twlibreviews.comThe story immediately engages the reader with details about Michael’s marriage to Frannie. On the outset, it appears the blame for dysfunctional marriage could be laid at the feet of Frannie. We sympathize with Michael because he’s being denied his rights to the marriage bed. And when they do engage, Frannie establishes certain conditions Michael must meet before she does the deed. That makes for a pitiful marriage complicated by her desire to control every aspect of Michael’s home life even his physical appearance. All sort of dark emotional trauma could arise out of the situation. Michael, however, is not the type of person to respond with violence. His answer to the marriage is to do what pleases Frannie and have his alone time in the shower with his hand keeping him company.What I love about this story is the slow discovery of self for both Michael and James. They are damaged characters imperfect in how they go about solving their problems. While Michael is as a dead man walking, detached emotionally, views life as an observant; James is a lively, charming, and humorous character. Character traits that appear on the surface but beneath the bravado, James is a scare kid, scraping by using prostitution as a means to survive. Without clients, he has no other skills or knowledge to make it another day.Michael and James are beautiful together.The reader will not get an angst feast filled with paragraph upon paragraph of woe-is-me emotional and inner thoughts of the main characters. Much of the story is told by Michael Maguire. The story construction pretty much matches the tone of Michael’s observation method of speaking and thinking, straightforward and unsentimental. There are signposts as he gradually changes over the course of the short story. It moves along and reaches a major turning point for Michael. What happens there will shock and seem out of character but when I think about it, I feel sad. Something had to give when emotions have been repressed the past 20 years.I highly recommend reading Something Different.Note: This review was prepared at the request of the author, S.A. Reid. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading future stories by the author.