“Eggshells” by Ziggy Schutz from Behind the Mask


[Edit: Originally published May 19, 2017]

When Pen falls and gets a concussion (and not even while superheroing) the repercussions are a lot more long lasting than she maybe expected. 

There’s this trope in action genres, that’s basically, hit a person on the head as an easy and harmless way to knock them out. Except that’s not how brains work. If you go unconscious you have a concussion. 

I’ve followed Ziggy on Tumblr (from my personal) for a while now, and she is nothing if not passionate about concussions being treated appropriately in fiction, because fiction surrounding concussions has a direct affect to how concussions are dealt with in real life.

“Eggshells” has some of the best representation of a person dealing with a concussion and post-concussion syndrome in fiction that I have ever read. And that’s not the only amazing thing about this story. It is beautifully written. The characters and their relationship are so incredibly well formed and vivid. The relationships are diverse and incredibly well written.

I think one of my favorite relationship dynamics was between Davie and Pen. 

There is a scene between the two of them when, they’re both holed up in Pen’s room because their parents are arguing and they’re trying to avoid getting dragged into it. It’s in this scene that my favorite exchange in the story takes place.

“Davie snorts. ‘How should I know? I’m adopted.’
‘Careful!’ She reaches over and slaps a hand over his mouth. ‘Say that too loud and they’ll decide it’s time to revisit nature vs. nurture.’
He promptly licks her hand.
Because she is a veteran superhero with hundreds of hours of training under her belt, she does not shriek.”

It tells you so much about the characters in such a small moment.

If this isn’t enough to get you on board, Pen’s a lesbian. We learn this in a beautiful moment that highlights the obliviousness of straight people. It’s A+ and not at all tropey.


You can find the whole anthology here.

Related Reviews: Falling in Love with Hominids, Love in the Time of Global Warming, Dreadnought